Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Pinewood

          I went to the Pinewood this past weekend with my family trying to get a sense of what this new Decatur restaurant was like.  The Pinewood is on the corner of West Ponce, in the location that Cakes and Ale used to be, and it is definitely trying to fill the big shoes left there by Cakes and Ale.  From huge mason jars to fried bologna sandwiches, they've got the hipster twist on Southern food DOWN.
          Right when we walked in, unfortunately I was a little disappointed.  First of all, there's a curtain right by the door that cuts off the whole restaurant.  I felt like I had to be let into the "club" before I could see behind the big curtain and into the dining area.  Also, the couple in front of us told us that there was an HOUR long wait.  We were prepared to find a different restaurant, until the hostess began to seat us right away.  Apparently the hour wait was for a table for two, but four people could sit right away.  That didn't make very much sense to me, especially because there were at least four open tables inside, but they were for six people, so two person parties had to wait an hour until one of the few small tables opened up?  The atmosphere in the Pinewood screams old Southern.  Old carbon lights and chalkboards line the wall, and all the tables and chairs were wooden and wicker, creating a nice feel in the room.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Spinach and Beet Salad
          We got fried green tomatoes for an appetizer, and my mom got the beet salad to start as well.  The fried green tomatoes themselves were unremarkable; I've made better.  The remolade that topped them however was magnificent.  I could eat it on anything.  My mom's beet salad was also really tasty.  Usually I think that people have to be "beet people" to enjoy beets, but anyone would love this salad.  The sweetness of the beets was balanced out with a terrific herby goat cheese, and it was topped with some candied walnuts.  The dish epitomized a creative version of the kind I talked about in my post about THE Salad.  (

Fried Chicken and Collards
Fried Bologna Sandwich
          The only two entrees I tasted were my mother's and my own, so those are the only two I can speak for in this post.  I got the fried chicken which came with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy.  I would say that this wasn't as much of a twist on Southern food as it was a solid interpretation of it.  It was really good, crispy fried chicken, with really creamy mashed potatoes, and a really good gravy.  However, the flavors didn't keep me enticed, or make me want to go rushing back for more.  I got a separate side of collard greens, and they were pretty good.  They actually came out cold (not on purpose,) and they had a little too much sugar for my taste.  Now, my mom got the fried bologna sandwich.  It. Was. So. Good.  Even though I like to think of myself as a Southern girl, I'd never had a fried bologna sandwich before this.   The sandwich had fried bologna, a fried green tomato, and a spicy egg salad on toasted white bread.  My first bite left me beyond intrigued.  I wanted to know what I was tasting, and how so many intricate flavors could work so well together and taste like something I 'd never had before.  My second bite just made me wish that I had gotten that instead of my one-toned plate overflowing with rich comfort food.
Lemon Jar
Funnel Cake
          For our dessert, we got two out of the three that they had.  We got a "Lemon Jar" and a funnel cake.  The lemon jar was a lemon custard in a mason jar topped with whipped cream and fresh berries.  It was really, really good.  I detected I super subtle hint of goat cheese in the custard; that was a very nice touch.  The funnel cake tasted just like what it was, and it was also very good.  I'm not sure if the whipped cream on both dishes was homemade, but it tasted like it.
          Overall, the Pinewood is definitely worth some attention.  It will be a force to be reckoned with among all the hipster Decatur restaurants, and I look forward to returning soon.

The Teenage Foodie

The Pinewood Tippling Room on Urbanspoon

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