Sunday, October 27, 2013

Episode XXI: Rose & Crown Tavern (ATL)

I had been on something of a hot streak as a Broncos fan in Atlanta this year. The first 7 weeks of the season I was able to watch the Broncos game on TV; I was never this lucky in Boston. Finally in Week 8 the Falcons were out west playing the Cardinals at 4:15 and the Broncos were hosting the Redskins at the same time. No worries, this gave me a perfect excuse to go back to the Rose & Crown. The Broncos’ meetup of Atlanta is there every week. You may remember the Rose & Crown from Episode VII. Sunday Reuben and Broncos football, not a bad day.

Pub Reuben
“Toasted marble rye loaded with corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and Russian dressing”
I almost missed another jab at the Swiss because of the font but look closely. It looks like all caps but the R in Russian and the T in Toasted are bigger. That just must be how this font works.

Appearance – (3.4/5.0)
Fundamentals. This sandwich did poorly on the gimmies. Let’s break this down.
First the outside of the plate was not wiped down before it went out. There is a tiny bit of cheese or sauce there on the outside that caught my eye. Next the fries are all over the place. So much so that you can see Danny’s hand in the picture trying to straighten things out.

Finally, the toothpicks look like a bad hole placement on a miniature golf course. Toothpicks can be functional but there is no way those are serving a purpose. This sandwich had potential for a high score because of the nice marble and the great contrast in colors between the Russian dressing and the sauerkraut but poor execution cannot be overlooked.

Quality of Ingredients – (4.0/5.0)
This one had great individual pieces except the corned beef. The rye was buttery and toasted well, the sauerkraut really stood up well to the rest of the flavors, and the Russian dressing was great.  The corned beef was not as warm as it could have been and I think it came right out of a package. All of the pieces were uniform and I strongly doubt they made it on premises, much less sliced the meat to order. The beef was also too salty; I downed a couple mason jars of water after this one. It is too bad because the rest of the pieces were so good, but you cannot cut corners on the main ingredient.

On a related note, we had the Brownie Surprise for dessert and the same thing happened! The brownie was cold and stale but the ice-cream and whip cream were great. The bananas were fresh too.  I say just take out the brownie and call it a Sundae.

Price – (3.9/5.0)
The Pub Reuben is $9.50 but the Bella Reuben (Portobello mushrooms instead of the corned beef) is $9.25. The mushrooms tasted better than the beef, so if you are supposed to be paying a premium for the meat then I think something is wrong here. This score could have been lower but I do appreciate that the meal came with the Broncos game watch. The staff reserves an entire room for us and puts up our Broncos flag. They also brought Danny some crayons. You can always score points with me by being nice to Danny.

Je Ne Sais Quoi – (3.8/5.0)
Despite the issues listed, this sandwich did ok here and I think it was the sauerkraut. The last time I was here I described it as “stiff” and I think that was true this time around as well. I mean this in a good way. There is a lot going on in a Reuben and the sauerkraut needs to be able to power through. It made me forget about the mediocre corned beef. I think this could have also suffered because of the fact that the Broncos were playing horribly when I was eating this.  Danny also decided to start acting up, so I put him on my lap and tried to eat this thing one-handed. Look at it. This or any Reuben is not meant for one-handed consumption.

Taste – (8.2/10.0)
This Reuben falls in the good-not-great category. The sauerkraut and the Russian dressing really carried the load and you can never go wrong with buttery toasted rye bread.  Yes, the corned beef was not what it could be, but there were still some good bites in there. I could not get Danny to try any of it but he sure did like the fries.

Overall – (23.3/30.0)
There is potential here but it is disappointing to see it squandered. Simple fixes on the presentation could go a long way. There may have to be a more serious discussion about what should happen with the corned beef.

The pieces of the puzzle are in place to make an outstanding Reuben, they just have to figure out the last one.  Would I order it again? No. Now that I have had both, I would order the Bella again. It had all the good elements of this one minus the beef!
Rose & Crown Tavern on Urbanspoon

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