Around The Dirty – Trips To Daddy D’s Barbecue, Flip Burger Boutique, La Pietra Cucina, & Varasano’s Pizzeria [Quick Hits]

Hope ya’ll had a pleasant weekend. I know I did.  As you might expect, the past few days have left me worn down and fried.  So, rather than pen a full review, first impression, or the like, I have decided to hit ya’ll up with some quick notes about some recent goings-on in the ATL.

Daddy D’s: It seems like Cliff & I somehow sharing a brain.  While he dropped in on Saturday, I was treated to a meal at this ATL mainstay on Friday.  Unfortunately, my experience at Daddy D’s wasn’t as good as Cliff’s.  Service, while über friendly (as always), went from attentive and competent to error filled and non-existent as fast as you can say “chopped pork sandwich.”  My rib sandwich came sans bread, the cornbread was cold and dried out, and the ribs made me frown.  They came out lukewarm and drier than the Sahara.  Meanwhile, they were swimming in sauce.  The flavor of the meat reminded me more of a brisket than a rib.

I’ve had better meals at Daddy D’s, but the company was great.  Funny thing about it: the hotties ladies wouldn’t tell me where we were going.  I almost threw on my D’s T on the way out the door.

Flip Burger Boutique: It’s been a few months since I pontificated about this trendy West End burger joint.  Last week, we felt that it was time to give the place another try.  While I have been in and out over the past few months, those visits were drink-centric.  This time, we hit up Flip for some dinner.  While I’m not prepared to recant my previous statements in their entirety, it seems Flip may finally be moving in the right direction.  The crowds haven’t evaporated, but the hour plus wait time seems to have simmered quite a bit.  Meanwhile, Flip has finally gotten the message about their price point.  The majority of the Flip burgers are now priced between $6 and $8.  Still a little on the high side, the food goes down a little easier than when most of them were $10 and up.  Perhaps most importantly, there seems to be more of a focus on cooking temperature and execution.  For the first time ever, we were asked how we wanted our burgers prepared.  That works great for the beef, but they shouldn’t offer the pork patties at medium-rare.  My burger was overcooked; however, it was only a tad.  I go prolific on them sometime in the future.

La Pietra Cucina: Anyone who has read my blog for a while knows I love me some LPC.  Commonly referred to around these parts as “The Club,” my visits to chef Bruce Logue’s midtown joint have dwindled since they remodeled.  That isn’t for a lack of effort on my part.  Rather, it’s just all these damn restaurant openings (don’t people know we’re in a bad economy?)  Ah, but i digress.  Anywho, some weeks back, I actually had my first “unpleasant” dish at the newly spiffed up spot.  However, thanks to my own repression, and Logue’s prowess behind the flame, that’s a thing of the past.  One recent meal found me with a face full of pizza.  The crust reminded me of ciabatta.  As you might expect … more on that in the future.

The food at LPC is pretty damn good even when there is a lapse or two in the execution.  More often than not, I leave there with a full belly, a smile on my face, and the knowledge that I just had something Atlanta should be thankful for.

Varasano’s Pizzeria: Much has been said about Varasano’s and its namesake owner.  I’ve been there an awful lot, but I’ve actually held back when it comes to writing them up.  I’ll drop a big one on this kid sometime soon.  While you wait, rest assured that the restaurant is moving in the right direction.  The rampant inconsistency of the early months seems to have been minimized.  My last four meals there have yielded fairly consistent pies with very good to excellent flavor.  Things aren’t entirely perfect, but the restaurant seems to have worked out many of the problems.  To put it bluntly: I haven’t had anything but a delicious pie in the past three weeks.

Bazzaar: Okay, so this one is a bit off the reservation.  Foodies haven’t had much of a reason to visit Bazaar since Richard Blais floated on.  It sounds like that might be about to change… sort of.  The sad truth is that Bazaar is closing.  That makes me sad … as I have some great memories from the place.  While part-owner Bill Kaelin has decided to sell his piece of the business, word around the campfire is that the remaining owners are turning Bazaar into a restaurant/bar.  While I have no hard proof of this, it seems that they are planning to reinvent themselves as an English pub when they are done remodeling.  In the meantime, you still have a chance to hit up Bazzaar before they close for good.  They are open through the end of July – so get there while you can.

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