Sunday, May 26, 2013

Episode XII: Cracker Barrel (ATL)

Throughout its history, Atlanta has been a transportation hub. Plains, trains and automobiles are always passing through.  For those of you that do not know, traffic in Atlanta is horrible, even on the weekends because of construction projects. Luckily, since so many people drive through the city on a holiday weekend, state and local governments put a temporary halt to all projects to allow traffic to flow freely.

This through traffic brought to town the Meachum family from southwestern Ohio. A quick congestion-free drive from our house took us to the local Cracker Barrel to meet up with the Meachums and their awesome RV. Table for ten please.

Grilled Reuben Platter

"A generous serving of thinly sliced seasonal corned beef, four slices of Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and our own dressing all grilled on our seeded rye bread make our Reuben one to remember."

Appearance - (3.6/5.0)No toothpicks! Instead they put two pickles in their place. Interesting, never seen it. It also appears that the pickles hold the sandwich together just as well as toothpicks. Once I got over the pickles, the burnt fries took over.  The plate is also not symmetrical, does that bother anyone else? I have not mentioned that on other posts but maybe I should start noting it. I took the sandwich apart to get the money shot and the sauerkraut took over. Looks like a sauerkraut waterfall. A little bit of effort could have really improved this score.


Quality of Ingredients - (3.7/5.0) Butter. That is the first thing that came to mind with this Reuben. I should have known given the name was Grilled Reuben and I was at a Cracker Barrel in the south. That being said, it was good butter. It did overpower the rye flavor of the bread, which is hard to do. The Swiss cheese was great and very melty. "Our own dressing" just tasted like out-of-the-bottle Thousand Island. It was ok but nothing special. The sauerkraut was kind of sweet and tangy. I almost forgot about the corned beef, not a good sign. Once I sought it out and tasted it I would say it was average.

Price - (4.1/5.0)This Reuben ended up being free for me (Thank you, Meachums!) but at the time I did not know that. It clocked in at $8.49. Not bad. Danny Boy really like the country store and we had a nice time on the rocking chairs outside after our meal. Our server was also nice enough to put in this order for me before they officially start serving lunch at 11:00 AM. Thank you, Tanisha.

Je Ne Sais Quoi - (3.0/5.0)
Ehh.. Nothing really special about this one. Danny Boy was being fussy and made it difficult to concentrate on the Reuben. Actually these pickles were good and were not your average deli pickle.  They were tangy. I ate the first one because I was curious and ate the second because the first was so good.

Taste - (8.6/5.0)
This was really a Reuben panini. It had tons of butter and was pressed. It tasted like a panini and that is not a bad thing. I think that is why they put four slices of Swiss cheese on the thing; it works well in the panini style. The other components of the sandwich took a back seat to the butter and cheese. I think it would have tasted just as good with less sauerkraut.

Overall -  (23.0/30.0)
I liked my Reuben panini and stand by my decision to order it this time. The opportunity cost was the excellent blueberry pancake plate my wife had. It takes dedication to order a Reuben at 10:54 AM but that is why I am here. I would order this again but not at breakfast. Next time I could go for some biscuits and gravy. Click to add a blog post for Cracker Barrel on Zomato

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Episode XI: Atlanta Chop House & Brewery (ATL)

For any of you that have ever had to connect in the Atlanta airport (every person alive) this Reuben is for you. The Atlanta Chop House & Brewery located outside security in the main atrium is a great place to kill some time. I went with a group of fans and it was Reubens all around, except for the hipster kid at the end of the table who was too cool to go along with it.

"Corned beef, Swiss cheese, Stout sauerkraut, and ancho remoulade on grilled marbled rye."

Appreance - (4.5/5.0)
Very impressive looking Reuben. I appreaciate the fact that they took the time to cut it and show off the goods inside. Can you see the stringy cheese stretching from side to side? It almost looks like a club sandwich. They layered the corned beef and sauerkraut to make the sauerkraut look like an extra piece of bread. I may have to email the chef to see if they do that on purpose.  The only thing keeping this score from going even higher is the toothpicks. I am on a crusade to eliminate toothpicks from sandwiches.

Quality of Ingredients - (4.7/5.0)
I don't know what ancho remoulade is but I like it. It gave the Reuben a kick but it still tasted like a Reuben. The Swiss cheese was stringy and was not lost in the rest of the sandwich. The rye had a pop thanks to the plentiful caraway seeds. There was no weak link with this Reuben.

Price - (4.1/5.0)
This one came in at $10.79. The reason it cracks 4.0 with this price was the portion. It was big enough to look like a club and I actually took half of it home for dinner. The place was nice and you kind of feel like you are in a steakhouse. I also get a discount for being an airline employee so that helps.

Je Ne Sais Quoi - (4.6/5.0)
The perfectly stringy melted Swiss cheese got me here. Sometimes it feels like the Swiss cheese is M.I.A. in a Reuben, but that was not the case here.

Taste - (9.5/10.0)
This Reuben really did have it all. Each component stood well on its own and the ancho really
brought it all together. I know it has been almost a month since the last post but I think it was worth the wait.

Overall - (27.4/30.0)
I think this is the highest score yet. No complaints, except the toothpick. It is almost harder to write this blog when nothing on the sandwich went wrong.

I have been surprised by how many of my friends have told me they have never even had a Reuben. Maybe it is a generational thing because all of the old people I know have had one. So for those Reuben virgins that are still out there, go try one! Click to add a blog post for Atlanta Chophouse on Zomato Atlanta Chophouse