The Companion – Atlanta, GA

Almost 7 years ago, to the day, we visited Steinbeck’s Ale House, in Oakhurst, after hearing about their burger. A couple of weeks ago, I was reading an article about restaurants that had opened in 2020 (and survived Covid) that ought to be visited. And it was there that I read about Steinbeck’s chef, Andy Gonzalez, having opened the Companion in April 2020.

We had originally planned to lunch with some friends, but plans changed. I had, however, set my sites on the Companion. I had actually seen the restaurant, noticing the large deck, while working my way home through the city one evening. Located across from a Majik Market (anyone else remember those from the 70s in the ATL?) near the corner of Marietta Street and Bolton Road, it’s possibly the harbinger of more things to come in the “Westside/Bolton” area.

My beloved chose the kale salad, as her entree, which was kale and spinach, roasted butternut squash, faro and a nuc cham dressing.

The salad was fine, heavier on the spinach than the kale. We started with an order of Vietnamese chicken wings, which were fried and then covered in a caramel sauce, rolled in crushed peanuts with jalapeños and herbs. These were 1) VERY meaty and 2) absolutely delicious. Both of the servers that were working with us, at different times, said these were their favorite item on the menu. I can see why.

I followed this with “the Steinbeck”, a bacon pimento cheese burger. This was the reason I had my sites on this place for lunch. I had them hold the pickled jalapeños, but this was a simple, glorious burger.

Double-stacked, thin patties with crispy crusts, perfectly fried bacon and a house-made pimento cheese. That’s it. And it needed nothing more. No condiments. No sauce. Nothing. The pimento cheese had a little bite, using a green pepper in addition to the pimentos (jalapeños? poblanos?) and was gooey, without being runny. And tater tots are an option for a side. I think if a restaurant offers tots as an option, they automatically up their sandwich game. The only thing I could see that could improve this burger would be a more substantive bun. The bottom bun was a little thin and had a hard time supporting the mass of the sandwich.

There were also two photo-realistic murals. The wolf above was the smaller of the two. There was also a giant owl, twice this size, with a tree growing out of the feathers on its head. I couldn’t get a good picture of it because of two parties who likely didn’t want to be featured on my blog <g>.

Great ambiance. Great meal. We’ll be back.

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