On our final full day in Atlanta, we were going to the Atlanta History Museum to which we’d be walking a few miles in preparation for our big Southern fried meal that night. We were also walking through the “financial district” so we figured we’d wing it for lunch.
The restaurant Au Pied de Cochon had a lovely outdoor patio and it was a great day so we thought we’d give that a try. It’s a French restaurant, the original is still open in Paris. I’ve been to Paris and if the Atlanta branch is striving for “French service,” they should know I had nowhere near as poor service anywhere I ate when I was in France.
The huge restaurant was nearly empty, maybe 10-15 tables of people inside and out total. The hostess sat us at an outdoor table and then came back about five minutes later to move us over two tables because she “didn’t think the servers would make it over that far.” Um, okay. Then we sat and waited many more minutes for our server to appear. When he finally did, we ordered a mimosa and a bellini, I got a diet Coke and K ordered escargot. The drinks arrived pretty promptly, but I only enjoyed a few sips because alcohol + empty stomach = not a good idea on many levels. Then we waited and waited and finally the server brought K’s escargot and some bread which I dove into immediately because I was starving. We ordered our food (K a roasted pigs foot and I ordered eggs benedict) and never saw our server again. My full bellini and empty diet Coke mocked me. We’d been there nearly an hour and everyone working there apparently went on break.
The hostess came back out, looked at our empty table and asked how everything was going to which I said, “It’s taking a lot longer than we thought it was going to.” She said she’d check on it and be right back. I was supremely annoyed at this point and could only hear, “tick, tick, tick” in my head. Five minutes later she still hadn’t returned from her “urgent” mission to find out about our food. We left enough money on the table to cover what we’d eaten/drank and walked out.
Au Pied du Cochon: Your restaurant was nearly empty when we arrived and even more empty when we left. We were going to pay $20-$30 each for our lunch entrees and ordered alcohol and an appetizer as well. Sitting there for an hour with no explanation, no apology and an entirely MIA staff is not acceptable no matter what price we were paying, but particularly when you have a high-end place. I have worked in restaurants before and if someone doesn’t have their entrée after an hour and you tell them you’ll check on it, you come back immediately to report back — you don’t disappear. Upon subsequent checking on Yelp, K found that the service at this place was widely panned and nearly everyone said it wasn’t worth the hassle. So much for winging it.
So we walked a bit further down the street and ate at the bar at Gordon Biersch, a chain of brewery restaurants. We had garlic fries, K enjoyed shrimp tacos and I had a ginormous plate of french toast and scrambled eggs (of which I could barely finish half). Thank you bartender at Gordon Biersch for keeping my diet Coke constantly full and for cheering me on while I ate a plate of food bigger than my head. All for around $35 total. Au Pied du Cochon — suck it. Read your Yelp reviews and step it up BIG TIME in the service department. You got schooled by Gordon Biersch.
Stuffed full, we greatly enjoyed our afternoon at the Atlanta History Museum. However, there were some out buildings that I really wanted to explore but the museum was closing and a wedding was setting up so we missed that. We could have used another hour at the museum. Which just made me mad at the pig foot restaurant all over again. However, we made it back to the hotel and got ready for our evening meal at Pitty Pat’s Porch.
A note: I have read Gone With The Wind 14 times (seriously) and have seen the movie seven or eight times. K has neither read the book nor seen the movie and I took the restaurant’s obvious tie-in to the GWTW franchise as an opportunity to regale him about GWTW trivia. I’m sure he was thrilled.
Our server, Willie, had probably worked there since the restaurant opened in the 1960’s and he pretty much let us know that we should be resigned to stuffing ourselves full of food, that he was going to keep bringing it and that we should just deal with it. K had been to this place years ago during a business trip and insisted we order the black-eyed pea cakes as a starter. He also enjoyed a (really sweet) mint julep and I had a Pittypat’s Pitch (vodka, “passion juice” and “sacred herbs”). I don’t know what that means but it was good and strong.
The black-eyed pea cakes were yummy — crispy and almost smoky. We were in the south so we just went with the fried chicken plate and let the fun begin. There was a salad bar, from which I took only naked greens in the hope of negating some of the fried everything we were about to eat. Then the bread basket consisting of chocolate chip muffins, corn bread and biscuits — all still made from scratch in-house. Oh yeah.
Despite my vow not to fill up on bread, I ate most of a biscuit and half a piece of cornbread. Then our fried chicken arrived. With mashed potatoes. And collard greens. And black-eyed peas. OMG. This was, no joke, the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. Crispy and tender and juicy and just the right amount of seasoning and hot and not greasy. The potatoes were clearly from scratch and were creamy good. I’m not a fan of black-eyed peas (textural thing), but I even liked the collard greens. They were substantial and slightly sweet.
Then Willie brought over the dessert tray and K talked me into sharing a homemade peach cobbler. It was incredible and I couldn’t stop eating it. It was not magazine-worthy food porn — just a handmade crust over a bubbly pot of Georgia peaches with vanilla ice cream melted over the top.
After this meal, *we* were Southern fried. I was so uncomfortably full I thought I might actually die from overeating. We were both in food comas for the rest of the night. And we still talk about that amazing fried chicken.
If you’re in Atlanta, definitely get to Flip Burger Boutique, absolutely make a trip to Woodfire Grill and save room for fried chicken at Pittypat’s Porch. Your scale will tell you you’ve overindulged, but your food memory will be happy for ever and ever.