Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Parker's On Ponce
116 E Ponce de Leon Ave. Decatur, GA www.parkersonponce.com
Last week I had dinner at Parker's On Ponce with Sabrina and my grandmother. It's located right in the heart of Decatur, at the intersection of Ponce and Church street. You'll find a few spaces of free parking marked for the restaurant directly behind the building, or you can park on the street or in a nearby deck.
I asked our server, who was very friendly but a little scattered (and this was on a Monday night when the restaurant wasn't busy), which cut of steak she recommended. She said she liked the New York strip or the ribeye best, because they had the least fat. I thought it was odd she didn't mention the filet . . . I'm usually not big on NY strip because it's generally pretty tough, especially in comparison with filet. However, I took a chance and ordered the 8 oz ($17, the 14 oz is $28) NY strip. All the steaks come with your choice of herb butter, bearnaise or blue cheese for an additional $3. Our server told me that she preferred the bearnaise, and advised me that it was mixed with a tarragon sauce. Again, I took a chance.
And the NY strip was excellent! Really, very tender, juicy and delicious. Maybe slightly overcooked, but only slightly. She did request that I cut into the meat and make sure it was cooked correctly before I began eating, and when I did this I noticed it was a little overdone, but what hungry, sane person is going to return steak and wait for the next one (from what is likely a perturbed cook) when the difference is minimal? Not I, I can assure you.
The bearnaise was absolutely chock full of tarragon. It was practically a tarragon cream sauce. Well, she did warn me. Maybe I'll go for the herb butter next time.
Because there will be a next time. In addition to being pleasantly surprised by the texture and quality of my steak, I also loved my side, a black truffle mac n' cheese. Once again, I chose something I would normally hate - I think I had too much of the neon orange Kraft macaroni and cheese as a child and now basically abhor the dish in any form, at any restaurant - but the addition of the truffles intrigued me. Hooray! It was very good. Creamy, creamy, creamy sauce with very tender pasta, and a hint of black truffle oil. Not quite as much truffle flavor as I'd like, but I like the pungent flavor more than most people, so it was probably just right for the general population.
My sister ordered the 6 oz filet ($24) and liked it. It didn't beat out her favorite filet from the chain Stoney River, but it merited praise. She also enjoyed her haricot verts, which were lightly sauteed and fragrant.
My grandmother ordered a salad - the Parker's House with mixed greens, peppered bacon, toasted pecans and dried cherries in a gorgonzola-vinaigrette dressing. This would work as an appetizer or a light main course, and the latter would make it a steal at $5. The kitchen didn't skimp on the "good stuff" - there were more pecans, cherries and bacon than greens, which gives the salad good marks in my book.
Finally we ended with dessert, the day's special, old-fashioned chocolate layer cake with chocolate icing. This was exactly what you'd want to eat if you're a chocolate cake lover. Rich without being bitter or too heavy, creamy icing, moist cake. Yum.
Verdict: Another great restaurant in Decatur. The best New York strip I've had in recent memory.