I recently wailed about the fact that two Atlanta area restaurants, Michon’s Smokehouse and Park’s Edge, were featured on Kitchen Nightmares with Chef Gordon Ramsay. Now that the dust has settled and both shows have aired, I am curious to know if both establishments could rise from the ashes to be reborn like the mythical Phoenix. So when Elliott Robinson, a good friend and dining companion, announced he was returning to Michon’s to assess it post-Ramsay, I invited him to provide a review to share with you. He knows his food and I respect his taste buds.
“After hearing Chef Gordon Ramsay was going to sink his teeth into the Kitchen Nightmare known as Michon’s, I was cautiously optimistic. I’d been to Michon’s on numerous occasions and had mixed experiences with things trending towards the negative. Once I heard about his summer visit, I started to run out and enjoy the immediate improvements. I waited because I wanted to see how things fared after the teacher left the pupil. Here are my grades.
We were met by a courteous hostess. She set up our table w/ a high-chair, brought us back and we settled in for a nice Friday lunch.
We heard a neighboring table lament that Michon’s didn’t have brisket and ribs. Wait…they don’t have brisket and ribs for a Friday lunch service? This is a SMOKEHOUSE! Isn’t that like McDonald’s not having burgers and fries?
But they had rib tips. Don’t rib tips come from trimmed ribs? Don’t they trim the rib tips from the ribs they smoke? No ribs…no brisket…lunch…does someone have Gordon Ramsay’s number?
I opted for a traditional Southern BBQ staple – fried pickles. Michon’s served them with a ranch dressing. In a word: Delicious! Fried golden brown to a nice crispness. The pickle was a nice balance of tart and salt, and very flavorful. It went well with the ranch dressing.
Cornbread. It was not a traditional 4” high slab with heavy corn flavor, but a sweeter, thinner version. It was a mix of cornbread and cake that was buttery and moist. I had 4 slices.
We opted for the Southern staples: mac & cheese, baked beans, green beans & collards. From a flavor perspective, they were on-point. The mac & cheese was made with ziti and had the perfect ratio of cheese and noodles. One problem, only the mac & cheese was hot. The collards, green beans & baked beans were at best warm. Not cold. Not hot. Just warm.
The wings were delicious as usual. Moist. Flavorful. Great smoke flavor. There was a bit more seasoning than I remember from previous visits, but it was still a winner. The rib tips were great. A little fatty, but well smoked with great flavor. The one issue with the rib tips: Temperature. Again. Ugh!!! Yeah, they were just warm. They need to get a thermostat in the kitchen.
The hostess was great. We got a warm, friendly greeting. She set up our table and we were ready to go in no time. Our waitress was bright and lively, but you could tell she was pretty green and slightly overwhelmed. We weren’t given the specials. My entree didn’t come out as ordered. Then she committed the No. 1 Server Fail, she dropped the check BEFORE we finished our entree. Why? Why?!? Why?!?!? I LOVE desserts. I really do. However, as a rule of thumb, I don’t order dessert if you drop the check before I finish my entree. Rules are rules. As someone who once waited tables at service-crazy Houston’s, these are just inexcusable.
All-in-all, I have to give Michon’s a C. The good thing is the grade can be raised with more staff training, better inventory control and a trip to Restaurant Depot for a thermometer. While I don’t think Chef Ramsay needs to make a follow-up visit, a call might be in order.
Gordon Ramsay on line 1….Gordon Ramsay on line 1!!!”
Elliott Robinson, JD brings his unique brand of humor and sensibility to the topics of love, relationships and family at http://www.wisdominlove.com. This Executive & Family Coach with Trove, Inc. believes a strong dose of wisdom can remedy any ailing relationship. You can follow him on Twitter at: @ERobinsoncoach or follow Wisdom in Love @WisdominLove. Oh, he also loves to eat…a lot!!