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Saturday, August 23, 2008

A day of good eating

jct-shrimp.jpg

Friday was a good day for eating. I met my friends Brad and Todd for lunch at JCT (1198 Howell Mill Rd., 404-355-2252). It's in the same development that hosts Bacchanalia, Star Provisions, Figo and Taqueria del Sol.

All of the restaurants seemed to be packed, so that finding a parking space was an ordeal. Actually, getting there was an ordeal too. I took 17th Street, which runs from Peachtree through Atlantic Station, to Howell Mill.

As usual, the intersection of 17th and Howell Mill was a damn nightmare, with traffic backed-up all the way to Northside Drive. There's no stop sign on Howell Mill there, so it can take a good 10 minutes or longer to get through the intersection. It's another example of terrible planning by the city. The 14th Street bridge over the connector is gone, so a lot of westbound traffic is diverted to 17th Street. You'd think they would have thought to install a light or a stop sign.

dynamic-pineapples.jpg
Lunch at JCT was good. I had sauteed shrimp over creamy grits (above). Brad had iceberg lettuce with shrimp and Todd ordered a roasted-pork sandwich. Portions were on the small side, so Todd and I ordered dessert -- chocolate fried pies for him and gingerbread pudding with lemon curd for me.

We had a great server, a young woman from Latvia.

Friday night, Wayne and I went to Dynamic Dish, where we shared our table with a cluster of pineapples. We've been eating here at least once a week and Friday's meal was as exceptional as usual. An asparagus soup made with celeriac broth and a bit of creme fraiche was tangy and fragrant. We both ordered the day's sandwich -- a Reuben made with tempeh, sauerkraut and Russian dressing. On the side, we had a bowl of local black-eyed peas with butter. They were yet another lesson in the value of simplicity when ingredients are first-rate.

Honestly, I consider Dynamic Dish the best restaurant to have opened in our city in the last year. Owner/Chef David Sweeney's cooking has no equal here.

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