Saturday, January 24, 2015

Episode XXXIII: Midway Pub (ATL)

On January 24, 2009 my wife and I got married. Last year, for our five year anniversary, we went to go see the Spurs and Hawks play here in the ATL. The Spurs only come to town one night a year so we had to go. This year, for our six year anniversary, I suggested we celebrate by getting a Reuben. She went along with the idea. What a gal!
So off we went to the Midway Pub to do some hipster people watching and enjoy an anniversary dinner.

“house roasted brisket roast, swiss, sauerkraut, thousand island, rye -also available with turkey or soysage”

Appearance – (4.8/5.0)
This has to be one of the better presentations I have seen in some time. The stacking is nice and it is a subtle way for the kitchen to communicate that they put some time into the dish. The fry cup is cool too. The paper overflows from the cup creating the illusion of overflowing fries.  It is tough to tell from the picture, but when you look really closely you can see the tiny bits of diced onions and pickles in the Thousand Island dressing. That to me says it is homemade and got me excited to take my first bite.

Quality Of Ingredients – (4.6/5.0)
The ingredients were first-rate (thanks Shift + F7) but it was the execution that brought out their quality. For instance, the rye bread did not have artificial marbling but it was grilled with just the right amount of butter to give it some flavor without overpowering the caraway. They also got just the right amount of toast on it. It was the same story with the Swiss cheese. The melting point execution was perfect, which means it was melted but not to the point of it getting messy or too thin.

The corned beef was high quality meat but it was the seasoning that let it shine. There will be more on the seasoning in the taste section. That is what we in the business like to call a teaser.

Price – (3.9/5.0)
I have to hand it to my editor on this one, she pointed something out that really affected the price score.  The fries were not included with the Reuben. One look at the receipt confirmed that this was in fact the case. The Reuben was $9.00 and that beautiful overflowing fry cup was $1.50. This just seems bizarre, almost un-American.

I am hoping to be able to hire a summer intern for the blog this year. I could give him/her  assignments like putting together an analysis for the owner of the Midway Pub showing that they would be better off including the fries with the entrees if they charged an additional x.  The take rate would be y but given the margin of z it would be worth it. If you know anyone that would be interested in this unpaid position, let me know.

Je Ne Sais Quoi – (3.8/5.0)
Welcome to East Atlanta. Hipsters own this part of town and we definitely got a few looks when we walked into the pub with a cute 3 year old. We may have made it too obvious that hipster people watching was on the agenda. Here is the thing with hipsters, and they would never admit it, they like the rest of us making fun of them. That is why they do what they do. When we make fun of them, they make fun of us making fun of them. We don’t get it but they do and that is what they think is funny. So really it is a win-win.

Taste – (9.3/10.0)
This Reuben was perfectly seasoned. Normally the rest of the day after eating a Reuben I am pounding glasses of water to counteract the huge amounts of salt that are in a typical Reuben. This one was proof that you don’t need an excess of salt, in fact, some places just assume if they put enough salt on it they don’t have to pay attention to the other details.

I spent my summers as a middle-schooler canoeing and backpacking in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. Any backpacker will tell you how important spices are to a campfire meal. You have to carry all of the food you are going to eat for the days you are out. The spices are light weight but powerful.  We used to fight to see who would get to carry the spice kit in their backpack because you could smell it throughout the day on the trail. It kept you going just thinking of the jambalaya you were going to eat that night.

Anyway, that is my way of saying that the Reuben was delicious. The Thousand Island had to be homemade and the sauerkraut understood its place in the world as a loyal, but tasty, sidekick.

Overall – (26.4/30.0)
Would I order it again? Yes. I don’t think I would go again with Danny just because you can still smoke out on the patio but the smoke seems to make its way into the main dining room. There are lots of TVs and the beer list is impressive. I would really like to come back here to watch soccer. You can tell from the décor that they have some serious soccer fans as regulars. First time in my life I’ve see an Atlanta Silverbacks scarf.

East Atlanta, thank you for the hospitality.
Midway Pub on Urbanspoon

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