Omnivore - No potato famine here

Rí Rá Irish Pub opens in Midtown

Monday was Wayne's birthday, so I suggested we head to Top Flr. He was unable to go two weeks ago when I visited and was anxious to try the Monday night menu. Hey, you can't beat a $15 birthday dinner.

Unfortunately, the place was slammed. We had to park a block away and things seemed chaotic at the door. So I suggested we make a reservation for next week and go somewhere else. You should take that as a warning to make a reservation yourself.

We ended up at the new Rí Rá Irish Pub (1080 Peachtree St., 404-477-1700). The name, according to the chain's website derives from the phrase "Rí Rá agus Ruaile Buaile," which it translates as "devilment." Whatever. We were kinda spooked that it's next door to RA Sushi. There's a lot of Ra going around.

Be careful what you order, or you'll end up potatoed-out. I started with these potato cakes, above, which were tasty enough.

Then, for an entree, I had more mashed potatoes in the form of Shepherd's Pie. I didn't think to change one of the two after I was told my initial entree choice, corned beef and cabbage, wasn't available.

Wayne started with smoked salmon and Irish soda bread. I didn't find the combination appetizing but Wayne was all nostalgic about Ireland, where he spent a good bit of time biking in his distant youth. So everything tasted good to him.

His entree was this gigantic portion of fish (haddock) and chips. The fish was actually pretty good, made with a virtual tempura batter and obviously cooked to order. More potatoes.

More in "Grazing" later this week.

(Photos by Cliff Bostock)