Thursday, July 23, 2015

Episode XXXVII: The Pig & Pint (ATL)

Sometimes a Reuben can sneak up on you. That was the case when I went out for lunch with my co-workers at The Pig & Pint

One of the folks on the team was moving to another position within the company for those I like to call the “Creative Types.” Anything in the Marketing, Loyalty, Sales, wannabe Mad Men, I refer to as “Creative Types.” These are the people that come up with brilliant ideas then act shocked when you tell them how much it will cost. They also justify everything with “brand” and “experience”.  This was a work sanctioned lunch outing so there was no way I was going to miss out. I have not been the best about going out to lunch.

At the end of last year I had to take a training course at work called “Take Back Your Life,” and it was dedicated entirely to Outlook management.  Anyone constantly battling a full inbox knows that it can take over your life, but still, it seems a bit ambitious for the name of a day-long training course. As part of the class, the instructor suggested that you block off time for yourself on your calendar, because everyone knows that there is no way the boss will book a meeting over a time blocked off on your calendar. I blocked off an hour-and-a-half every other Friday to go out to lunch. It has not gone as planned because I have pretty much been stuck at my desk all day every day. I even stopped wearing my FitBit because it just got to be depressing how little I was moving during the day.

Things are getting better and I was happy to be out with the crew. I didn’t even know this place had a Reuben!
“Shaved corned beef, pickled red cabbage, 1000 island, Swiss cheese, grilled sourdough”

Appearance – (3.9/5.0)
The plain, somewhat-grilled sourdough really takes over here. That is not something I am used to seeing with the Reubens.  There is so much color inside, with the red cabbage and corned beef, trying to get out but it just doesn’t seem to be making it all the way through. Rye has more color to it, especially when it has the marbling going on. This was probably done in an attempt to lure non-Reuben eaters to order this dish. This whole sandwich is a RINO (Reuben In Name Only) and the white sourdough is advertising it.

Once you get past the sourdough the presentation is nice.  I would have liked the stacked approach to show off the inside of both halves but at least they took the time to slice it and separate the halves.

Quality Of Ingredients – (4.3/5.0)
Well done here. The pickled cabbage and 1000 island dressing tasted homemade. The shredded cabbage was not cut uniformly, which usually lets me know that it was done by someone in the back and not by a machine. The color on it really popped too. The other dishes around the table looked like they were homemade as well. I did not get the sense that anyone in the kitchen was cutting corners. The place just smelled good when you walked in so you knew something good was going on back there.

Price – (3.7/5.0)

$10 may have been a bit much given the small portion size. The server did not charge me for my Club Soda, so I will give them credit for that, but I think this one could have been in the $9 range.  $10 is really a psychological break point and you need something special to charge that.

Je Ne Sais Quoi – (4.4/5.0)

It was nice to rediscover this place. I had been here years back, before it was the Pint & Pig. There were not too many good Happy Hour places around the office before this came along. There is a smoky Irish Pub, a smoky beach bar, and a smoky seafood dive bar. You see the trend. I don’t mind a smoky bar when I’m in Vegas, but sometimes you want a chill place to have a margarita after work where you won’t have to change your shirt when you get home. They have some good drink specials and I hope to come back for lunch or Happy Hour soon.

Taste – (8.8/10.0)
This was a good RINO and I am glad they did not try to hide it by giving it an appropriate name. They took away the rye and sauerkraut. I don’t think Swiss cheese is as polarizing as these two.
The pickled cabbage had enough vinegar to give it a kick similar to that found in sauerkraut. The sourdough was a mild variety and very well could have been white bread.
What really brought this whole sandwich together was the homemade 1000 Island. It was creamy and it was used in just the right amount.

Overall – (25.1/30.0)
Would I order it again, yes, but maybe not on my next visit. There are a few things on the menu I would want to try first, like the pulled pork. This place smelled just enough like bbq smoke to get your mouth watering. Then you see the pulled pork come out and it looks as good as it smells. Once I’ve tried the pulled pork then I’ll be able to make an informed decision on where to go from there.

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