grizzlydan: Artist's rendition of me with mountains in the background. (Default)
I generally dread working Saturdays, because they tend to be more brutal than the other days of the week, in general. But yesterday was not too bad. I was already headed for leaving work in a good mood when Thomas (TheGreyMan here) popped up on Plurk ( . .try it, it's easier to follow than Twitter, and all the cool kids are doing it)and asked if anyone was up for some BBQ at Fat Matt's. That's automatic, folks. That's the closest thing I have to church right now. So I told him I was in, and BTW went to the website for Fat Matt's to find out who was playing, since it's an every-night Blues joint in addition to being ribs mecca.

You gotta be kidding me. Blues Cat? I have a 12-year-old T-shirt from when I was following them back in the day. I even did a DJ gig with them back in the day. So my mood went orbital and I went charging home to change clothes, kill a little time, then head south. I get out of the van in front of the joint, and there's two guys doing a double-take at me and complimenting me on my T-shirt, the likes of which they haven't seen in years. It turns out the lead singer is the only remaining original member. The original bass player even died a few years ago of a heart attack days after a Fat Matt's gig. Jeff, the lead singer, was so psyched to see and re-meet me that he offered to pick up the tab on my group's first pitcher of beer. Good times.

So then Thomas and his Pocket-Size Kat showed up, along with some acquaintances I had not seen in a while and some new friends and the 'wench and too many LJ-types to list. The band purely rocked. The performance included Jeff's 12-year old daughter bravely singing Blue Suede Shoes with her Dad's help, and a guest harmonica player.

Side note from my profile, if you haven't read it:

"All musicians want to speak through their instrument which is what makes the harmonica such a valuable tool for playing the blues. Its tonal capabilities are unique, so that you can make it sing, speak, talk, moan, cry, bark, growl, beg for mercy or just about anything else." -Jerry Portnoy

So yeah, transcendent evening. Note to self: stick to the ribs, it's what they are famous for. The custom of the combo including the chicken is to be shelved. More ribs, please.

Oh, also: I won a free NEW style Blues Cat T-Shirt out of the tip jar raffle. The cherry on top of an excellent evening.
grizzlydan: Artist's rendition of me with mountains in the background. (Default)
Sometimes I get into discussions with people who like to remind me of what I am missing by living in Small Town, USA, instead of Metro or, God help us, ITP in the ATL. The restaurants, they say. You don't have any great ones. (Smiles and wags finger)NOT YOURS!

Tucked away behind a Stallion gas station in a strip mall in a middling part of town is a delightful nugget of epicurean civilization called The Sassafrass Grill. It's like stepping into an alternate universe from the mundanity that is Rome, GA. The decor is classy, tasteful, and warm, the music coos Norah Jones and Etta James at you, and the waitstaff is courteous and professional. And then there's the food.

I hadn't had Snapper in years and now I know why. The executive chef, a somewhat swarthy Mr. Clean type, explained to me that Snapper doesn't do well if it has to be frozen, so most restaurants won't stock it. They get theirs fresh, never frozen. I had forgotten how amazing Red Snapper was. They make their own sauces, and each was a revelation. Even the Tartar sauce was one of those "So that's what tartar sauce is supposed to taste like" moments. And what truly won my heart was the shrimp bisque, which Tammie had persuaded me not to have but they offered it to me on the house anyway as a sample as a first timer. Oh. My. God. Hot, creamy, delicious, and would be the ideal winter soup for its warming effect.

The meal came with brown & white rice pilaf, asparagus and a salad. I chased the Snapper with sweet tea and a Guinness. There was bread. Tammie had London Broil, and we got out for around $50.

Beat that, ATL.


grizzlydan: Artist's rendition of me with mountains in the background. (Default)

October 2009



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