Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Firkin Gryphon

Although unemployment nationwide is hovering around 10%, things seem to be OK in Dunwoody.  Several restaurants have opened recently, and we've heard about a new bank along with a few other vacant retail spots being filled.

DunwoodyTalk staff was invited to get a sneak peak at the new Firkin Gryphon restaurant on Ashford Dunwoody Road.  If you are in a hurry with not time to read, then simply go there for a nice atmosphere and some great food.  The End.

The new restaurant is in the former Smoky Bones location.  In the same strip mall is Macaroni Grill, a mattress place, Pella window, and a few other things I can't remember.

For those wanting a little more detail, thanks for sticking around.  Firkin Gryphon is a Canadian tavern chain, now with three Atlanta locations (Cumming & Lindbergh).  This place is different than Tilted Kilt, different compared to Macaroni Grill, and different to most other eateries in Dunwoody.  It has by far the widest beer selection I've seen in the Perimeter area.  According to an alert reader, Taco Mac has a wider beer selection than this place, so I'll give Firkin a 2nd place trophy regarding beer choices.  31 beers on draft, and another 30+ in bottles.  Lots of mixed drinks, wine, and even tap water.  But it's not a beer & shot type saloon.  It's a nice atmosphere; a place to take a client, a place you can take the kids, and a place to hang out with friends.  The servers dress differently than those at Tilted Kilt (although they do wear kilts, but the kilts are longer and the Firkin girls wear blouses that actually have buttons) and the atmosphere itself is also different.  When you enter you immediately smell smoked ribs and other foods cooking. It's not a powerful BBQ smell like at Hickory House, but something unique. Being a Canadian franchise, the place has a British feel to it. Native Atlantans, transplant Yankees, and even visiting limeys will feel at home in this place.

I was there during a soft opening for family, friends, and bloggers (sorry King john and BloggerBob, I forgot to get you invites) so it was not real crowded and not much noise.  There are about 20 flat screens, mostly all tuned in to a sports channel.  I did see one tuned to Fox News and a token TV tuned to CNN.  I was told the place will have football, soccer, and all other sports on all the time.  A few booths had their own private TV.

In the back (the place is over 7000 sq feet) was a nice pool table and a couple dart boards.  Not sure how many people will throw darts.  I throw at the Tavern once in a while.

Back to the beer.  of course my first question was regarding Hoegaarden.  Again, another restaurant with no Hoegaarden.  31 beers on draft an no Hoegaarden?  But, they do keep one of the 31 taps as a rotating selection which means it may from time to time have Hoegaarden. I already put a plug in for it.  So today for lunch I had Smithwick Ale draft.  For the pre-opening event they had a limited menu so I can't talk about too  many foods.  But I did read the full menu and there are lots of things for everybody.  Also a nice kids menu.

I ordered up a full rack of ribs.  Very tasty.  Meat fell off the bone and you could eat this slab with a fork with little effort. I had real (not instant) mashed potatoes as a side - very good.  Just to make my wife happy I added a side of fresh steamed vegetables but I pretty much ignored them and focused on the ribs, potatoes, and beer.  I forgot to mention the beef sliders as the appetizer.  For dessert was a fudge brownie with ice cream.  All the food was excellent. No frozen food on site.  Everything is prepared fresh.The food is upscale, but not overly expensive. 

I think they will do well for lunch and dinner.  I also feel the place will be going after the 8 PM - 2 AM crowd by having some live music.  I'll be sure to make a late night visit soon and report back on the late night crowd. 

I met the owner before I left.  He lives here in Dunwoody and has lived here for 30+ years.  Although the place has a goofy name I think they will do well.  Give it a try.

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