Thursday, August 4, 2011

Home Grown Review

I was back home in Atlanta, GA and my best friend Sia took me to this restaurant, called Home Grown, that she wanted to check out. When we walked in we were seated right away. The restaurant had a homey, diner feel but was cleaner and more streamline/ zen-like in its atmosphere. 

The artwork on the wall created a fun atmosphere. To me it showed that they support their local artists and their unique voices. It also said to me that they care about their restaurant and customers. 

Sample of the Award Winning GA Peach Sloppy Joe

 The waitress was very friendly and gave helpful suggestions. When I couldn't decide between the shrimp and grits and their award winning GA Peach Sloppy Joe (which is 100% vegan) she brought us a sample to try.

Award winning GA Peach Sloppy Joe with a side of Fried Green Tomatoes and Horseradish Cream Sauce

 My goodness was that GA Peach Sloppy Joe delicious. It had a savory peach flavor that reminded me of peach cobbler filling. The peach sauce is so good it makes you want to slap yo' mama. 
The Sloppy Joe texture was both firm and sloppy. 

The overall combination of sweet, salty and savory flavors mixed with the contrasting textures made me wish I had ordered it.  But I'm glad I got to have a taste. I will definitely go back for this.

Fried Green Tomatoes with a Horseradish Cream Sauce

After much debating, on my end, we decided to start off with the Fried Green Tomatoes with a Horseradish cream sauce appetizer. 

The fried green tomatoes came out piping hot. They had a thin corn meal crust, that I think was mixed with some panko bread crumbs, the texture reminded me of corn flakes cereal. The green tomato was juicy, warm and had a pleasant tomato flavor. The texture was firm but easy to cut with a knife. 

But what set these fried green tomatoes apart form me was the horseradish cream. The tangy, spiciness from the horseradish and the coolness of the cream complemented the fried green tomato extraordinarily. It tasted like a deconstructed green tomato cocktail sauce. It actually inspired me to try making a cocktail sauce with green tomatoes instead of the typical red variety. 

That's me on the left
Growing up I was not a huge fan of grits (I know how could I call myself a Southerner), but I loved oatmeal. As I got older, it switched, now I'm a grit connoisseur but I don't like oatmeal. 

To make up for lost time, every chance I get to try grits, I do. Naturally, when I saw the Barbecued shrimp and grits on the menu, I had to go for them. 

Now there's one thing about grits that I've noticed, every person and restaurant says that their grits are the best. I've heard this line so many times that my response now is "I'll be the judge." 

The way I judge grits is based on two criteria, flavor and texture. 

Under the flavor category, I look for whether it is well seasoned for the style of grit, be it cheesy, classic or sweet. 

Under the texture category, I look for whether it is cooked properly. Are they fluffy, creamy, and do they have a little weight to them. 

Barbecued Shrimp and Grits

When the Barbecued shrimp and grits arrived, I was excited because it looked like it was going to be delicious. But in this case looks were deceiving because there was hardly any flavor, even with all that barbecue sauce (which also had no flavor). The lack of flavor went beyond just the need for salt. 

It was warm and had a nice contrast of texture between the shrimp and the fluffy grits. I must say I was disappointed; especially since I was in the south, how did I manage to find flavorless grits?

Sausage Biscuit, Fried Egg, Grits

My friend Sia ordered a sausage biscuit with a fried egg and side of grits; which she really enjoyed.

Although the shrimp and grits were a disappointment, the fried green tomatoes were quite tasty. The prices offered great value for the amount of food you get. The wait staff was very nice; and the decor was fun, hip and entertaining. I would definitely go back a second time. 

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