521 Kitchen & Cue – Atlanta, GA

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For the last several years, our 4th of July ritual has been: participating in (please not that I did not say running) the Peachtree Road Race; followed by a quick shower; and then, ribs.  And after a particularly challenging incident in finding said ribs a couple of years back, it has sinceinvolved planning where we were going to have those ribs.  This year, I chose 521 Kitchen & Cue, which I discovered through an article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle that my boss sent to me.  Located in a strip mall on Roswell Road, on the right (heading out of Buckhead toward the Perimeter), we arrived to a nearly empty restaurant. 

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It is the kind of place where you order at the counter (the menu is on the board to the right), take a number and wait.  And on this date, we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Other folks received their food. One table even received our food – granted they did have a similar order, and we did get a fresh order.  It seems that their ordering system had a glitch that day and orders were being printed at the counter and hand-delivered to the kitchen.  

Jo ordered chicken with garlic green beans and a sweet potato (a plate that I failed to photograph) and the chicken was moist and tasty.  I ordered a combo platter with ribs and brisket, with black-eyed peas and French fries. 

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The primary issue here was the size of the serving – this is what I usually view as the “upscale barbecue problem” – even in the new math, two ribs and two slices of brisket, plus sides, do not equal $14.95.  Not in my book, at any time.  The brisket was good, a little fatty, but moist and tasty.  The black-eyed peas were not cooked to tender, but were topped with bacon crumbles.  The French fries, were the best part of the meal, perfectly crunchy on the outside, soft and flaky, like a perfect baked potato on the inside.  It was an okay lunch, but the prices seem high, at least to me.

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