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Badda-bang! 

Neighborhood takeout just got sassy with BaddaBing!

The super-spiffy take-out joint that's taken up residence in the Decatur/Oakhurst area near Agnes Scott college is filling a niche in the neighborhood with much-needed good takeout meals. Located in a strip of reviving storefronts that includes a beauty salon and dry cleaner, BaddaBing! could easily be seen as obnoxiously cute, with its bright, flashy logo and pop-culture cred (I refuse to make any cute "Sopranos" references). But a wholesome image resides inside thanks to chef Chris Campbell and his wife, Laura McCombs Campbell, and the magician of the operation, co-chef Mark McAninch. The bright room is abuzz with McCombs' smile and energy, and everyone on staff dishes up plenty of charm along with the heaps of pleasing food.
Service: The best thing to do is call ahead with your order so there's no wait (the menu changes daily and is available online). Otherwise, you can place your order at the counter and browse the kitchen utensils in the BaddaBoom! Room, located in a corner of the shop. You'll be happy to know that tip jars are conspicuously absent here.
Soups: It's impossible to pass up free samples of the six or so cold and hot soups offered daily ($4.95 pint/$8.50 quart). The cold fruit "soup" -- a finely pureed concoction of mango, pineapple, honeydew and cantaloupe -- will make any kid do back-flips. But a little goes a long way; I felt like I was drinking a smoothie. Loaded with chunks of onions, cucumbers and tomatoes, the gazpacho was tasty. But I passed on the vichyssoise, which was heavy with the flavors of cucumber and roasted zucchini. I was most impressed with the wild mushroom, its rich, earthy stock steeped with shitake and chanterelles.
Sandwiches: The sandwiches are two-hand affairs; I wasn't able to finish mine in one sitting ($6.95; includes Zapp's chips). Thick slabs of rye, white or wheat with heavy crusts are used for the roast beef Bordeaux and roast turkey breast -- which may be big, but I got bored quickly. The turkey breast, supposedly stuffed with basil and shallots, didn't have much of either, relying on the pesto mayonnaise for its kick. The Italian round bread of the French Quarter muffaletta was a bit tough, but the olive relish was a great complement to the provolone, ham and salami.
Don't fugget about it: Entrees change daily -- but cross your fingers for the pork loin with peach salsa and goat cheese ($7.75). When you can cut pork this easily with a plastic knife, you know it's good. The meatloaf with wild mushroom gravy ($6.50) was a fancy affair that may have you asking for seconds.
Not so fast: Unfortunately, the takeout concept is still just that -- there's not a chair or table in sight. A few tops would help, but there's no need for table service.

jerry.portwood@creativeloafing.com
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