Monday, November 12, 2007

The Feed Store, Southern Food at it’s Finest

We have been eating at this restaurant for a few years now, since it first opened. It’s been about 5 years and they have been through a lot of changes. First thing we liked about it was the bar. The whole place has been renovated perfectly. Modern touches where they work and old brick and plaster walls tell just how old the building is. They haven’t changed the decor and don’t need to. They have changed the menu and the staff fairly often. The last chef was there about two years and was decent. Some of the early chefs were good as well, like I said we have kept eating here for years. It is usually good, it is close to our house and never crowded. Well, that’s how it usually is. The other night it was slammed, so we left and went back this Friday night. No problem getting a table even if it was a weekend night.

We were there because last Sunday at the Les Dames event down at Serenbe, we came across the booth where the Feed Store was serving. I brought it to Stacey’s attention and we stopped, looked in and said “hi” when the chef said “hi” to us. I ask if he was in fact the chef at the Feed Store, he confirmed he was. I said he must be new as we eat there often and have never seen him around. He let us know he had been there about a year, which means we had eaten his food. We told him we lived in the hood and we ate, on and off for years at the Feed Store. He told me we needed to return soon because he and his intern Cooper were kicking ass.

I started writing this post about the Feed Store a few months ago. It was the last time we had dined there and I thought I would write about it. As I got into it, I decided that it was not that special and shelved it for awhile. After last Friday nights visit, it was time to take it off the shelf, they did kick ass.

When we went Friday night we agreed that if they were slammed, like last time, we would go elsewhere. They were not slammed so in we went. I am very glad we did. We had been checking out the menu we had picked up at the Les Dames event and knew what we wanted before we got there. So Stacey picked out a bottle of wine and I went to the bathroom. The bathroom is great. I know that sounds strange, but I know some folks who pay lots of attention to the condition of the restrooms at restaurants. These were in good shape, like always they were clean, very clean. The flush on the toilet and sink you wash your hands at is hands free. I love that. Means I won’t infect anyone with the strange virus I carry.

Got back to table after playing with the hands free stuff for a while and Stacey had ordered. I was having Country Fried Beef Short Ribs, with Buttermilk Mashed Taters, Mushroom Gravy and Heirloom Beans. Stacey was having Red Brick Ale Braised Pork, Brown Butter squash, Black-eyed peas and Seasonal Poached Pear. We were gonna start with Buttermilk Fried Organic Chicken Livers. Hell yea, I was as happy as a little girl!

Stacey also ordered a bottle of Rose, it was o.k. the wine list is the only thing a little lacking and that can always be fixed, as a matter of fact I may take things into my own hands, I will let you know how that goes.

Anyway, Buttermilk Fried Chicken Livers, man how long has it been since I had Fried Chicken Livers? I bet the last time I was a kid and my Mom cooked them. These were delicious, they were fried Buffalo style, as in Buffalo Wing sauce, they were served with a tidy little compote of Carrots, Celery and Blue Cheese, there were more than enough for two.

We could have stopped there, but at the time didn’t know how filling the Livers were. I think we were in a food stooper and just wanted more. So we both cleared our plates when they served the entrees. Both were sooooooo good. The pear on Stacey’s was pureed and was perfect with the very tender pork. The chef told us he had actually brewed the beer that the pork was braised in, but that was against the law so he advertised otherwise.

I don’t know if you have ever had a Beef Short Rib Country Fried, I had not, but why you don’t see this offered at any good Southern food restaurant is beyond me. It was so good and the sides were perfect, mashed taters, gravy and sugar snaps.

We are so happy to have these guys cooking in our neighborhood. They have knowingly come into a cool space that has had problems over the years. They know what they are up against and are ready for the challenge. If they keep it up they are gonna do really well. One of the good things, for us right now, is weekdays they are gonna be busy with conventioners and slower on the weekends, that is til the locals find out. My mission is to try the whole menu, one dinner at a time.

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