October 2012

Some of the best Southern food I’ve had since my last meal at the Decatur Watershed came on a recent Sunday at JCT Kitchen. They have a fixed price menu on Sunday. You get a meat, three sides, biscuits, salad, deviled eggs, a dessert. I wish I could have included more pictures, but many didn’t come out.

The entrance to JCT Kitchen is down there, by the tower.

Good biscuits.

Butter and a dipping sauce come with the biscuits.

deviled eggs.

Of the meats, my wife had their fried chicken, my daughter and I had the rabbit. Rabbit was shredded and formed into a round patty and cooked. It was a mild meat, and in my opinion, not quite the flavor bomb the fried chicken was. On a revisit, I’d probably try the brisket or the chicken.

Fried chicken, best of our meats.


Of the sides.. a family shares portions of three sides. We tried the mac and cheese (awesome, says my daughter), the brussels sprouts, and some greens. All three were good. The salad was huge, full of surprises. The quality of service was lush.

In terms of location, it’s in the same building as Star Provisions, but more towards the side and the back. Look for the JCT “Tower” to help find the entrance.

JCT Kitchen
1198 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 355-2252

JCT Kitchen on Urbanspoon

These are two restaurants with a common name, largely compatible menu, and yet in many ways, these restaurants are markedly different. The Addison Original Pancake House is in a large modern building on the edge of a divided highway and when we went, it was packed. We had a thirty minute wait, in overstuffed chairs and sofas. This eatery were used to their crowds. Once seated, we were offered a choice of rolls and they were good ones. The kitchen area was well separated from the dining areas. There was plenty of staff, and the feeling of substance, abundance, luxury was ever present.

Addison Original Pancake House

Rolls are served in Addison.

The Stone Mountain Original Pancake House is in a modest round building that reminds me of the “mushroom cap” buildings that many older Mellow Mushrooms are found in. There is limited seating, due to the size of the building, and no waiting area. There was a modest staff. The menus were much lighter weight than the Texas menus. No rolls were offered when we sat. If we wanted, we could see some of the goings on in the kitchen. The feel, if I had to compare it, was closer to that of a Waffle House than the Addison restaurant.

Stone Mountain location.

The menus are different not only in look and feel, but also the Texas restaurant has additions that suit the Texas breakfast eater. For example, there are migas in Texas, a selection not found in Georgia. That said, the food delivered to the table in both eateries was of high quality.

Bacon pancakes, from Dallas.

Pumpkin pancakes (Dallas).

Migas. Usually you wrap these in tortillas.

Corned beef hash.

Dutch baby, no dusting of sugar. My wife was curious about this.

Western omelette. Good and enormous. Like the hash, came with a side of pancakes.

We had pancakes and migas in Texas, pancakes, corned beef hash, a dutch baby, and an omelette in Georgia. Serving sizes were ample. There was more food than we could eat at both locations. Service to the table was excellent in Texas, and quite good in Georgia.

Original Pancake House
5220 Belt Line Rd
Dallas, TX 75254
(972) 385-6468

Original Pancake House on Urbanspoon

Original Pancake House
5099 Memorial Dr
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
(404) 292-6914

Original Pancake House on Urbanspoon

Raging Burrito has good food, great beer, and plenty of character, a trip back to the early 1970s in some ways. In others it’s quite modern (a 1970s Tex Mex place would never have served fish tacos, for example).

Beef, pork, and fish tacos.

It also bends with the breeze in other ways. The brisket taco they serve is good, perhaps the best taco of the three I tried, and the beer selection on tap is a really good one.

Service was excellent.

Raging Burrito and Taco
141 Sycamore St
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 377-3311

Raging Burrito & Taco on Urbanspoon

Smoked pulled pork that took a back seat to no one was the apex of my meal at Bone Lick. On a street not that far from Star Provisions, this small eatery is one of the better barbecues around these parts.

Drinks are in the right kind of glasses for a BBQ joint.

Fried pickles, with interesting sauces.

Pulled pork, ribs, and brisket.

Chicken, ribs, and brisket

How does the pulled pork rate? Using letter grades, A to A+. Ribs were nearly as good. The chicken worked well with us. Brisket ran a little dry, the least of their meats. Ambiance was excellent. Sides were mostly good, and the place has some culinary ambition, is clearly willing to take some chances with their menu.

Service was not the best I’ve had, despite the best intentions of staff. The place is small. When we went, it was packed. The staff they did have were overwhelmed. Some long waits were part of our day here. If they start making some money, hiring more waiters is something Bone Lick should consider.

Bone Lick BBQ
1133 Huff Road
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 343-6574

Bone Lick BBQ on Urbanspoon

I have a long series of articles about the Guam boonie pepper, a small hot pequin style pepper native to the island of Guam. This pepper is not (despite unverified claims in the Wikipedia) the same as the Thai ornamental pepper, but is instead a separate species, closely related to the tepin of Mexico. The pepper is used in Chamorro dishes, most notably the ubiquitous finadene sauce.

To update the status of my plants: I recently posted that one of my four peppers was flowering. This year, all four flowered and it looked like I was going to have a record crop. Then pests started taking bites of my peppers, and I’d lose all but a few seeds.

In mid September we took a trip, and I had to bring my boonie peppers inside. Outside, they could easily have dried out in two days, and the trip was longer than that. The results?

Being inside allows for a more relaxed watering schedule.

Not only has the crop grown larger, they’re not subject to predation and can stay on the bush longer, turning a full red instead of orange. It’s been successful so far. The question now is, will all 4 plants winter well?

Footnote: a video of people eating Guam Boonies is here. The man shown stopped at 11 peppers.