Big Sky Buckhead – Atlanta, GA

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One of the signs of a good meal is that while you’re eating it, you’re already thinking about who you can bring back.  That’s what happened today, at lunch, at Big Sky Buckhead.  Halfway through the meal, we were talking about a return trip and who we should bring with us.  I have had Big Sky on my radar since I saw an article at the first of the year about the impending opening.  I’ve been a Hector Santiago fan since my first meal at Pura Vida and I’m so glad that I was able to have lunch at Super Pan before it closed.

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We arrived around 12:15 to a fairly empty restaurant (they had opened at 11:30) and chose to go to the second floor.  Our server offered us our choice of seating – inside or on one of the patios.  We chose the back patio, due to the lack of direct sunlight.  And even though it was chilly in the shade, they have several overhead Enerco heaters to keep you warm.

The menu has a build-your-own entree section from which we built an appetizer and Jo built her entree.  We started with one of the house made coconut buns with the crispy pork belly and cilantro slaw.

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The bread (which is Top Chef Hector Santiago’s secret recipe) comes out of the kitchen looking like a thicker version of a soft taco, but is light and fluffy and has just enough coconut flavor to let you know it’s there.  The pork belly is slow cooked, then flash fried, then topped with a tamarind habanero sauce and a house sambal sauce and, combined with the slaw, made for a perfect savory to counter the sweet of the bun.  Originally, I planned to share a bite with my beloved, but I think it ended up 50/50.  Nice start to a meal.

For the entree, Jo built a bowl with brown rice, black beans, grilled chicken (in a soy ginger marinade) and jicama slaw.

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The choices we passed from the build your own were the bowl of greens base and the adobo roasted pork, adobo beef or smoked tofu proteins.  The black beans had been flavored with peppers and mushrooms and were seasoned very well.

I chose the fire burger – two 4 ounce beef and habanero patties, served with pickles, caramelized onions, bibb lettuce and ghost chile ketchup.

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The server recommended the ketchup on the side and I was glad she did.  Had I smothered it onto the burger, like I normally would ketchup, it would have made for an unpleasant meal.  Leaving it, instead, as a really hot dipping sauce was a good choice.  The beef, mixed with habaneros, was wonderful – one of the better burgers I’ve had in months.

I thought we were done, until they mentioned dessert – house made filled doughnuts (coco (fresh coconut pudding), cacao (Mexican chocolate pudding with ancho chiles) and a dulce de leche (sea salted caramel)).

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The doughnuts were made of fried coconut bread, rolled in cane sugar.  We ordered one of each and they were like large beignets. They were good, and sweet, but we likely won’t be ordering those when we return.

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