Lately I've been feeling a bit blase about Atlanta dining. I just haven't gotten excited about much I've eaten. Fortunately that's not the case at all for Bocado on Atlanta's ever-developing westside. Lunchtime at my office often sends me into fits of dismay and indifference. I simply can't get enthused about the very few restaurants in walking distance, and getting in a car seems like a hassle when everyone just eats at their desk any way. (Sidebar, but whatever happened to fun lunches with your office mates? I used to have that at Bain many years ago, and now I haven't seen people leave their desks in years!)
Fortunately, Bocado is just a short drive away, and I've popped over for lunch a couple of times with little sister and Mr. AT. Their menu is short but manages to pack a whollop. It's the rare menu where nearly everything sounds delicious. Last night I returned again, this time for my brother-in-law's birthday dinner. The menu was largely the same for dinner - heavy on hot sandwiches, with the addition of some creative cocktails.
Everything sounds so good, so the last couple of times I went, we chose 2 entrees and split them both. The hamburger is divine - simply prepared with American cheese and housemade pickles. The beef is juicy and full of flavor and small enough that you can feel sated but not stuffed. On previous visits the garlic herbed fries with ranch were equally heavenly, but last night they seemed to lack salt, a pretty major fry necessity. On a previous visit the roasted poblano & pimento cheese sandwich with bacon, fried green tomato and spicy sauce was a messy, decadent success and the grilled ham and cheese is taken from ordinary to sublime with Dijon sauce, caramelized onions and apples. Seriously, yum, yum and yum.
Other than the fries last night, my only other complaint is that the appetizers were a bit skimpy. Our local berkshire prosciutto appetizer was rather stingy with the pork, making it mostly bread and arugla. The crab fritters were a toothsome combination of crab, apple salad, chiles and apple salad but were a bit on the small side for $14. But these complaints are small - you can get away with some missteps when your entrees are so damned delicious and well-priced.
Much like everything in the burgeoning neighborhood, the restaurant's vibe is industrial and hip. Perfect for lunch for all the surrounding design and creative agencies.
I'm thrilled that Bocado has so impressed me thus far. It's finally a new place I can get excited about, and it's a perfect escape from Spoon/Thumb's Up Diner overload.
Creative, compelling menu that is as delicious as it sounds
Appetizers not as strong as entrees
*Photo credit: Heidi Geldhauser, courtesy of Bocado