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Omnivore - This and that, here and there

Melton's reopens, Ron Eyester goes off

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Good news: Melton's App & Tap has reopened. The Decatur pub was closed a few months due to a rat infestation caused by its neighbor, Pet Supermarket....

It's always interesting to read how other newspapers represent our city. The Chicago Tribune recently reviewed the cocktail scene in Atlanta. It interviewed Brian Stanger, who recently left Southern Art & Bourbon Bar but was quoted in the story while he was still there. Among the favorites:

Stanger's top choices for out-of-town tipplers include Top Flr (topflr.com), a two-story restaurant/bar in Midtown with late-night hours and rustic fare accompanied by cocktails such as the Rye Tai (Redemption Rye, bourbon, Cointreau, orange juice). Despite the "outrageous" wine list, Stanger says "people don't go in there to drink anything but cocktails."

And it's always nice to be reminded by other newspapers that we have the highest homeless rate in the nation...

"Angry Chef" Ron Eyester's recent CNN column, picked up by Channel 2's blog, is a hilarious description of "amateur diners," who are particularly common during the holiday season. The important thing here is not that a diner is simply inexperienced but assumes attitude as if he were not.

It got me to thinking of my own such embarrassing experience as a kid. My parents took me to a fancy restaurant and I ordered steak tartare. My parents looked at one another. The dish arrived, I took a bite, I called the server to the table and said, "You need to take this back to the kitchen. It is raw."

Another favorite experience in a restaurant occurred at Azalea, Tom Catherall's original restaurant here. I watched a couple angrily and loudly complaining to the server that the radicchio on their plate was bitter. The server tried to explain, but ended up carrying the plates away to return with a side of something more vanilla....

Gene Lee of the AJC has an absolutely terrific piece on his 10 favorite ethnic dishes of 2011, from the goat curry at Sri Krishna Vilas (no. 10) to the ajiaco soup at Las Arepas de Julia (No. 1). Not all of the dishes are from intensely "other" venues — Empire State South's redfish and grits is on the list — so don't be scared.