Friday, July 3, 2015

Episode XXXVI: Bagel Palace (ATL)

My friends, it has been too long.

First I have to apologize to Flat Branch Pub & Brewing in Columbia, MO. I had a great Reuben there back in March but did not get around to writing the formal review.  Things at work have been hectic lately but we are finally adding some staff so I should have my life back soon.

A Friday off from work seemed like the perfect time to get back in the game and try another Reuben around town. The Bagel Palace is pretty well known in the Reuben community of Atlanta.  I was not sure what to expect as the reviews for this place on line are hit or miss.

45. Corned Beef Reuben
This is all the menu says.  Apparently, no introduction is necessary for this Reuben. I think this is this first Reuben on this blog that did not have any kind of description.

Appearance – (3.5/5.0)
No frills here.  This place seems to go out of its way to avoid any flare. Even when I ordered Danny a hotdog off the kid menu our server said she just needed the number. Ok. Could I please have a #5?
The one bit of flare was the florescent lime green shirt our server had on. Other than that, this plate sums up the appearance of the whole restaurant.

Look how good it could look with just a tiny bit of effort.

This is the same sandwich!

Quality Of Ingredients – (3.7/5.0)
I don’t have a good place to start. There was no description! If a restaurant tells me there is homemade 1000 island dressing I will get excited about it. Is there something special about the cured Corned Beef? Couldn’t tell you. Maybe this is an indictment on the sophistication of my palate. I’m at a loss here.

Let this be a lesson to all of those restaurateurs out there, you can plant seeds! If you get your clients excited based on what is in the menu, maybe the food will taste better.
There were no obvious weak links but nothing really stood out either.

Price – (3.2/5.0)
$10.69? That is real money. I can look around and tell there is not a whole lot of money going into maintenance and overhead. It looks like the decoration budget didn’t get approved this year. I am not sure why $10.69 is the right number. 

Sometimes you go to a bar for trivia or to watch a game and you pay $8 for a beer but you are ok with that because you are essentially paying rent for the bar stool. You are paying for the satellite bill that is letting you watch the game.  When I saw $10.69 I kept looking around to see what else I was paying for.

Je Ne Sais Quoi – (2.7/5.0)
I was thoroughly disappointed when it came to the JNSQ of this place. The space was tired and dated. There was nothing welcoming about the environment; there were no decorations on the walls.

Oddly enough I think they might like it this way. There were lots of elderly couples eating there that seemed to know the server by name. One of them even told our server he wouldn’t see her tomorrow because he was going to spend the 4th of July with his grand-kids. If the target demographic likes good food with  no frills, then more power to them.

Taste – (8.6/10.0)
The taste itself was not bad. No crazy reinterpretations of the dish, it was just a straight up Reuben. I think the sauerkraut could have had a bit more kick but overall it was good execution.

Overall – (21.7/30.0)
Would I order it again? No.  If I happen to be in the neighborhood and I need a place to pick up some bagels I would come back. We did get a few bagels to go and they were pretty good. Are they better than the Einstein Bros Bagels across the street? I don’t know.

A restaurant does not have to be all things to all people. This place seems to be doing just fine serving old school food to a very loyal client base. I am glad I took the time to see and experience it for myself.


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