Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Trackside Grill and Patio Bar - Kennesaw, Georgia

The Trackside Grill is located in Historic downtown Kennewsaw, GA. Also nearby is the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History. (Which I plan to visit one day soon) the museum houses a locomotive known as The General. The General was at the heart of a military raid that occurred in April of 1862. The Union stole The General from right under Confederate noses, while the crew and passengers stopped for breakfast. Thus started The Great Locomotive Chase.

Adjacent to the Trackside's parking area is an outdoor exhibit featuring The Great Locomotive Chase. There are plaques and frescos that depict that exciting story.

The Trackside itself is set in a beautiful brick building with a large chimney detail and a lovely second level pergola. The pergola forms a shady oasis for the restaurants outdoor seating. Weather permitting, the outdoor seating area seems to be a very popular spot.

The food is described as "classic comfort" and "Southern American cuisine". Indeed, all of the usual suspects are represented. There's a take on classic southern fried chicken and a not so classic pimento cheese served with sesame seed flat bread.

The Sunday we were there for brunch we were informed that a new brunch menu was being rolled out. And we did experience some bumps along the way. However, as far as I'm concerned, none of the issues that came up had anything to do with the menu being new. Under-seasoned food, dishes not served to temperature and an overly perfumed server have nothing to do with the menu being new and everything to do with quality control in the kitchen and FOTH training.

We started with the pimento cheese and flatbread and really enjoyed it. The sesame seed flatbread was the perfect foil for the rich pimento cheese. Nicely done.

While we munched on that and waited for our entrees our server brought out a basket of warm-from-the-oven blueberry muffins; moist, golden and full of blueberry flavor. Another hit.

Fried Green Tomato Benedict
 I ordered the Fried Green Tomato Benedict. When it arrived at the table it looked fabulous but was a bit off the mark. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked but sadly tasted of too much vinegar. The fried green tomatoes were not salted at all. Just what was needed to enhance their tart, piquant flavor. Nothing awful and I'm sure just a few missteps from the kitchen but disappointing none the less.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

My dining companion ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I'll let him describe the dish:

"What I ordered was the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I will note at this point that this item is offered on the lunch and dinner menus as well as the brunch menu (so it should be something that wasn't new to the cook). What was served was a pleasant looking plate of food. When I cut into the chicken, I immediately noticed that it wasn't served at the temperature of the sun (an ongoing topic of discussion between myself & HappiTraveler). I believe I heard the chicken being fried in the kitchen and it was the temperature I would expect. However, the mashed potatoes or more specifically the gravy was cold. What I had was a perfectly acceptable plate of food. Overall it tasted pretty good. The cold gravy didn't detract from the overall flavor of the plate, but definitely didn't help anything either. I have had this dish several different places. If asked, I couldn't differentiate what would make this a superior dish to one served at O'Charley's at Trackside's 50% mark up."

Banana Bread Pudding

We finished with the Banana Bread Pudding, because dessert. I had a small quibble with the bread pudding but this is just personal preference. The bananas served on the top of the bread pudding were uncooked. I would have preferred something in the style of a Bananas Foster. Again just personal preference. The bread pudding was fine.

Despite the minor hiccups we encountered on this visit, I would return to The Trackside Grill. The menu looks promising and on another day the kitchen might just pull it off.

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