Omnivore - Lunch at the new Bantam + Biddy at Ansley Mall

Classic diner dishes updated



I hit the new Bantam +Biddy at Ansley Mall for lunch Monday. Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere, co-owners-chefs, were both working in the kitchen. I ate late, as usual, around 3 p.m., and the restaurant was not crowded.

The interior is another design from the Johnson Studio and looks sleek with a bar in front of the kitchen and enough total inside seating for 50. There’s also a patio, which will be enclosed during the winter months.

I ordered the signature rotisserie chicken (with peri peri sauce on the side) and daily-special sides of vanilla-bean apple sauce and fried green tomatoes with goat cheese. Most everything here is made with local ingredients, and the flavors are a hundred percent better than you’ll find at the usual meat-and-three (or two).

My lunch was on opening day, so there were the usual glitches you find at newbies. A friend sent back his meatloaf because he found it over-cooked. Others complained that their vegetables were served tepid. My own lunch was flawless.

Some friends also griped about the cost. I thought $10 for my lunch was quite reasonable.

“It’s nowhere near as cheap as Moe’s,” one said.

“Duh,” I said.

Did I mention that gay men are the most critical, stingy people on the planet?

More worrisome to me was the complaint that the chicken was undercooked. It is no such thing, but, as a fellow food writer remarked, Atlantans seem to demand their chicken overcooked. You may have noticed that rotisserie chicken from Publix and Kroger is often too dry to swallow without a gulp of water. That’s not an accident, apparently.

There is much here to explore besides rotisserie chicken. I think the menu of real food is going to be a great addition to the Ansley neighborhood.