1170 Howell Mill Road at 14th Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
The only reason why I know what “abattoir” means is from an old Simpsons episode (“Bart’s Friend Falls in Love”), where Homer receives vocabulary-building tapes even though he ordered the weight loss tapes. Dr. Marvin Monroe, in his scratchy voice, reads out that A is for Abattoir and then uses the word in a sentence. In preparation of our visit here, Dave and I practiced our imitations of Dr. Marvin Monroe even though Atlanta’s Abattoir has nothing to do with The Simpsons.
We made reservations on Open Table a few days in advance which seemed smart since it was a Saturday night, and the place was busy. One drawback to Abattoir is that it’s on the loud side since all the diners are basically in one big space with a waiters’ station in the middle. It looked like a lot of patrons were families and couples. There was a patio but it was too hot for any sort of outdoor food-eating. I thought the AC could have been cranked up a few degrees inside, but oh well.
Our waiter was a nice fellow who resembled David Byrne, so I shall refer to him as David Byrne throughout this review. The menu is always changing so what’s posted on the website may not be what you’re offered. I just checked the website now, and the menu is nothing like what our was. David Byrne told us that he normally works at another Star Provisions place but subs at Abattoir on the weekends. Unfortunately, service was on the slow side. I don’t know if David Byrne was overworked or if he was just spacey or what, but all I could say was that it was a good thing we didn’t have plans after dinner. I think we left nearly 2.5 hours later. I will say that the woman who keeps the water glasses filled was on top of her game. Never a glass was empty.
David Byrne described all of the house cocktails to us. For some reason, they are not described on the menu and are not familiar enough so that people would know what they were. I tried some concoction dubbed “Air Mail” which involved champagne, gin, and bitters. I approved.
Dave and I started off with three different appetizers. First up was the sweetbreads. Aren’t figs completely darling? The sweetbreads had a warm, almost sweet sauce that was offset by a bit of spicy kick. I know sweetbreads aren’t for everyone, but I sure liked Abattoir’s version.
Here we have the fried okra. The presentation was not what I was expecting, with the pulled shards of vegetable. And it was served cold too. Odd. But the taste was killer, with hints of vinegar. Yum! The menu stated that cilantro was part of the package, but we got that taken off, thankfully.
The last appetizer was pork rinds, though Abattoir dubbed theirs “chicharrones” despite the fact that they were not true chicharrones. The house-made spicy sauce was too spicy for me, but it earned Dave’s seal of approval. As the serving was massive, we got these to-go, and he asked for the sauce to-go too. Airy and addictive!
Steak! A place with an emphasis on meats does steak right. And the little potatoes were cute too. So full of beef goodness.
Now here is the lamb. I love lamb, but I’ve gotta say that I preferred the steak over the lamb. The pita pocket was a cute touch though.
As for dessert, Dave and I decided to both order one each and then share the two. This was done mostly because it was tough to decide amongst all the tantalizing options. I finally opted for the monkey bread because I’ve made monkey bread before but have never had it at a restaurant. Something told me they wouldn’t be using Pillsbury (or generic grocery store brand kind) refrigerated biscuits. Dave picked out the panna cotta with lavender, honey, and figs. I have to say that I preferred my dessert by far…the bread was so light and warm, and sweet to boot. Wonderful way to cap off the meal.
We were bummed that we weren’t able to eat any head cheese, but we were happy with what we ordered. Thank you Abattoir, for a great dining experience. Even though David Byrne was slow, Dave and I let that slide because he had an upbeat attitude. Now we’ve checked Floataway Cafe & Abattoir on the list, we’re slowly working our way up the Star Provisions ladder. Bacchanalia someday!