Monday, February 15, 2016

Episode XLI: Food 101 (ATL)

The Hoppy Monk is going to be tough to beat, but nevertheless, we press on. There are some fancy lunch places in Atlanta, and sometimes a nice restaurant and fancy ingredients can allow you to let your guard down when ordering a Reuben.  The Reuben at Food101 fell short on something you wouldn’t think could trip up a Reuben.

I have to say, I was in a good mood on my way there. President’s Day Weekend 2016 was going quite well for me.

-          Friday was Profit Sharing Day
-          Saturday we took Danny to a birthday party for a girl in his class. He was the only boy invited. No big deal…
-          Sunday we went to the bar to see Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester City 2-1 and my wife let me count this outing as our Valentine’s Day date!

Monday I was off work and one of my wife’s friends from college happened to be in town. She asked if we wanted to meet up at Food 101 in Buckhead. I checked the menu, and when I saw that they had a Reuben, I said yes.

NY Style Reuben
“House Made Pastrami, Sauerkraut, Gruyere, 1000 Island, Marble Rye ”

Appearance – (3.7/5.0)
We have a situation here where they are trying too hard to fit something into the sleek plate design.   Doesn’t it look like they plated the fries first, then one half of the sandwich, and then the poor guy didn’t know what to do with the other half?

“Hey Charlie, is this how I’m supposed to plate this?”
“Looks good to me!”

You really lose some of the magic of the marble rye when you only see half of it. Then you are trying to find images in each half. Do you see the Robin?

The ketchup is also not great. Look at the dimple in the middle of the cup.  That tells me they squirted from a bottle anyways.  If that is the case, just put the bottle on the table and use the extra space for more fries!

Quality Of Ingredients – (4.0/5.0)
The house-made pastrami was a solid cut of meat for sure. What caught my eye about this Reuben was the Gruyere, and I have to say it worked well. The marble rye was nothing special and there will be more on that later

Price – (3.8/5.0)
$14! We are in Buckhead here and some people might say that this is a reasonable price. I’m sure lots of time went into making the house-made pastrami, but it still seems a bit steep. A 3.8 is not a horrible score, but I don’t think it’s a great value.

Je Ne Sais Quoi – (4.0/5.0)
The Reuben actually earned a decent JNSQ score, and I think it was the Gruyere. Maybe this is evidence that restaurateurs out there are trying to game the system by adding fancy, French-sounding ingredients to boost their JNSQ scores. In this case it worked.
Other than the new cheese, there wasn’t much left to the imagination when it came to this Reuben.

Taste – (7.8/10.0)
Not horrible by any means but there were some flaws. First off, there was way too much butter on the bread. I know why places do this. It gives the bread some flavor and color when you put it on the flattop, but I think they were heavy handed here. I could not really taste the rye in the bread and that is an important part of the Reuben equation.
Also, I thought the pastrami was just a bit too salty. Maybe that’s why they don’t feel the need to put the ketchup on the table. You already have all of the sodium you need.

Overall – (23.3/30.0)
Would I order it again? No. There were some other really good looking lunches on the table that I would try before going back to this sandwich, such as the fish tacos, crab cakes, or even something called the triple grind burger.

I liked the place and the company was even better. 


  1. Nice review! Good level of detail. Will have to poke through your blog so I can find a good one in Atlanta!

  2. I like this place. I was here the other night, I've been there for about four or five hours and found the prices reasonable on all fronts and the staff to be so friendly. I would be the perfect person to have on an infomercial for these venues if they ever had one.