Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Tin Roof Cantina
2591 Briarcliff Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA www.tinroofcantina.com
Last night I had dinner at Tin Roof Cantina, near the intersection of Briarcliff and North Druid Hills roads.
Tin Roof is "one of those places." By that I mean it's a little grungy, with the sour smell of spilled beer and stale cigarette smoke permeating every corner. The interior is dark, and there's trivia or a band playing every night. It's open until 4am, even during the week, if you can believe it. They have the usual slew of bad beers on tap, along with a few good ones like Sweetwater Blue and Smithwick's. They also have something called, no kidding, "The Cheap S#!" for $2/draft (Could this be Pabst Blue Ribbon? Don't know, didn't ask.), and beer towers. You can bet that many a regrettable one-night-stand began inside these walls. A college student, or someone who just celebrated his/her 21st b-day would just love it.
The rest of us . . . not so much.
Sounds like a great place for me to take my grandmother, right?
I entered Tin Roof Cantina knowing absolutely nothing about it, besides that is was conveniently located within a mile of my grandmother's new residence. I wanted to take her some place neither of us had ever been, so Tin Roof met that requirement. It was only after we went inside and the waitress brought our glasses of water that I realized this may not have been the idea choice for us.
Nevertheless, I try to approach unfamiliar restaurants with an open mind. So we dug in and ordered.
Tin Roof offers typical Americanized Mexican cuisine - tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, chips and salsa, guacamole, etc. They also have regular bar food - wings, burgers and hot dogs. A few salads. Nothing I can get excited about.
My grandmother ordered the Tin Roof taco ($6.95), which is a large, soft flour tortilla-wrapped taco with lettuce, tomato, grated cheese, and your choice of chicken, steak or ground beef. She got the ground beef. It tasted exactly like what your mom used to make . . . if she was like my mom and served the Ortega brand from Kroger.
I ordered a chicken quesadilla, which came with grilled chicken, diced tomato, onion, Monterrey Jack cheese, accompanied by sides of guacamole, salsa and a very liquidy sour cream. I think this was $10.95. It was actually pretty good. The quesadilla itself was thick and the portion was ample. Not as good or nearly as fresh as the ones served at the Tree House in Peachtree Hills (previously reviewed), but better than I expected.
Service was okay. Neither the food nor the service was bad. It ranged from mediocre to slightly good. That's not enough to get a return visit out of me.
Verdict: Catering to a specific crowd, one who doesn't make quality of the food their first priority.