Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Ponko

Many years ago, when I was in high school (yes, that was many years ago), there was a little restaurant called Food Ease. It was in a little strip behind the Applebees and it was delicious. Asian-inspired chicken fingers, fried in panko crumbs, that were sweet and savory at the same time. And how in the world did they get their rice so perfectly sticky? And omg the sauce.

But sadly, they closed. For years friends talked about Food Ease and the chicken and many tried to replicate. I even took a stab at a recipe. But it was no where near the same.

Then one day, there was news. The family was returning to Atlanta. And was going to re-open. And it was going to be near my house!!! I really can’t explain the excitement and I don’t think I will ever be as excited about a restaurant opening than I was then. It took a while to get open, but they were kind enough to do tray sales on certain days, so we could get our fix of chicken while anxiously awaiting the grand opening.

And grand it was. Ponko Chicken opened and it lives up to every memory and expectation. You can find it in the Chamblee area and Midtown because, yes, someone quickly opened a franchise location because, yes, it is that good. And the best is that there are so many options! Finger plates, sandwiches, tacos, hot dogs salads. OG, spicy, bbq. Numerous side options. Delicious flavored teas, beer on tap, and wine. Desserts.

My go-to is a finger plate, OG, with white rice and Ponko fries. But the tacos are also delicious. my husband likes the spicy fingers. And of course you cannot forget the extra Ponko sauce and ranch. And no, it’s not just any asian-style sauce or ranch. We always have a bottle of the Ponko sauce in our fridge at home because of course they sell it. They’d be dumb not to!

Anyway – if you can’t tell, I love this chicken. And the restaurant. And I am so happy they returned and re-opened to build their Japanese American chicken tender empire. If you haven’t checked it out – what are you waiting for?!


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Pinewood

My Christmas present to my brother and sis-in-law (and myself) was tickets to see Wicked here in Atlanta. Excuse to see my favorite show ever, take two of my favorite people who had never seen it, and see my nephew (if just for a few short hours)! We went to the matinee show last weekend then out to dinner. I had asked a friend to recommend a new place in Decatur – I love new places and Decatur has plenty of them. He highly recommended Pinewood Tippling Room. And it was a great one.

We went all out for a fun day/night on the town – we don’t get a hang out a lot and they don’t get to go out a lot! The drink menu is extensive, with some unique and delicious-sounding cocktails. I had a free grit-tots appetizer (by signing up for their email list) and we also got the brussel sprouts (we were really hungry). For my meal I got the duck breast with braised kale, sweet potatoes, and dried cherries. Yum. It was my first time having duck and it was delicious.

Pinewood is a smaller place, so make a reservation, make a night of it, and enjoy!


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Table at Ten

The second restaurant I made it to before the holidays was Table at Ten in the heart of Midtown. ScoutMob has some great deals for brunches and dinners for 2 and is an easy way to make yourself try a new place. This was no different – brunch for 2 at Table at Ten was perfect for a little pre-Christmas get-together for my friend of 27 years and I.

They had a very good and unique menu. We started with some mimosas and took our time deciding what to order. My favorite brunch food is benedicts, so I went with Florentine Benny with fresh veggies and a perfectly poached egg. Recently most of the benedicts I’ve ordered have overcooked poached eggs, so it was nice to get one cooked correctly. My friend’s order took the cake though: chicken-n-waffle sliders. Crispy chicken and candied bacon between mini waffles, with syrup for dipping. Of course I had a bite and it was just as good as it looked.

There wasn’t a crowd or even a wait (though it was a dreary Saturday), so check it out on the weekend if you want a new delicious brunch! And for me, just one more new restaurant to try to check off another 30 before 30 item!


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Victory

I’ve almost (finally) been to 10 new restaurants! I knocked off a couple more visiting my close friends before I left town for the holidays. We were heading to Decatur for a concert and obviously had to grab dinner there since there are so many great restaurant options in Decatur.

Victory Sandwich Bar is one everyone loves – though Decatur is its fairly new home. The first order is always a beverage. Victory is known for their adult slushies – the one to get is the Jack and Coke slushie – and it was delicious. The sandwiches are a little smaller so you can order two, and I got the Tea Bird and a veggie one that is not on the current online menu (ha). The Tea Bird is chicken and ghost pepper jack which has a real kick to it – more than just mild kick. The veggie had a portobello, tomato, I think spinach and some kind of spread. They were both delicious, as were the chips. Definitely recommend Victory and a stroll around the square in Decatur.


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Babette’s Cafe

Almost reached enough new restaurants to cross off #11 on my 30 before 30 list. And side note: I now have less than 1 year to finish everything! New restaurants should be easy – but it’s so easy to go to the normal places, and there are actually so many restaurants in Atlanta, it’s hard to pick new places! I know….first world problems.

For my birthday this week, I wanted to go somewhere new with my parents. And it happened to be the inaugural Highland Restaurant Week – so that helped narrow down the list. Restaurant weeks are really the best way to try new places, and all the neighborhoods in Atlanta do their own restaurant weeks. I went with Babette’s Cafe – it looked cute and the menu looked great. After making the reservation my coworker said she liked it, so I felt good about my selection. And my opinion was not swayed.

They had some great options on their $25 Prix Fixe menu for restaurant week. I had the mussels as an appetizer, chicken piccata as an entree, and chocolate bread pudding for dessert. The mussels were good – I could definitely taste the strawberries but not the peppers as much. The chicken was very delicious – I love lemon and capers together and it made a great sauce. And of course the dessert was amazing – I actually forgot it was banana ice cream by the time we reached dessert, so that was surprising but it had a great flavor and paired perfectly with the rich chocolate bread pudding.

It’s a cute little place – an old house – and it would make a good date spot. The crowd was interestingly older….I’m still curious as to why because I loved it and would highly recommend it – especially for restaurant week if you still have some time this week! (Pics aren’t that great – I don’t like using my flash which is very bright and disruptive in a restaurant)


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Antico

I cannot believe I forgot to add this to my 30 before 30 list and write about it. Antico has been on my list to eat at since I moved to Atlanta. Almost 2 years ago.

I had a friend visit recently so got a group together for dinner. The Giovanni Di Palma & Son Co. has created Little Italy in West Midtown. Antico was the first establishment of these: true Italian pizza. Fresh mozzarella, fresh toppings, and absolutely delicious. My friend and I split the Capricciosa: mushroom, artichoke, prosciutto. It’s first come seating – and your pizza may come out before you have a seat. So large groups are more difficult and off hours are good. And BYOB (or they have some alcohol available to buy)! Definitely would recommend this place and I’ve heard the rest of Little Italy is just as amazing.

littleitalia.com

littleitalia.com


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Six Feet Under

Halfway done with new restaurants (30 Before 30 list, #11)! A friend gave me a great idea since the weather was nice, to take my visiting friend to Six Feet Under. Great patio that overlooks Oakland Cemetery – the oldest and largest cemetery in Atlanta. The view was cool, the weather was perfect, and the food was delicious. I got the combo basket: friend oysters, calamari, and catfish – amazing batter and jalapeño tartar sauce. Plus jalapeño hush puppies – we ordered extra of those. I’d definitely recommend it.

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