Atlanta Food Spotlight: Steinbeck’s Ale House

Let’s get this out of the way: Steinbeck’s (Oakhurst Neighborhood) might be my favorite spot in Atlanta. It’s an Irish-style pub with a solid rotating tap list, incredible food, awesome service, and the perfectly cozy, conversational atmosphere I crave in a bar. There’s only one television, usually mute, and maybe half the customers can even see it. There’s always great music on, but its not so loud that you can’t hear yourself think or your friend speak. The servers and bartenders are always incredibly friendly, attentive, and remember their regulars. Oh, did I mention the food is outstanding?

My absolutely favorite go-to I-need-a-hamburger-right-now hamburger is the Steinbeck’s House Burger. Thick juicy perfectly cooked patty. Topped with massive, thick strips of bacon and pickled jalapenos. Finished with a generous scoop of house-made pimiento cheese. Sounds messy, you say? The soft bun is wide enough to not only handle the pile of culinary brilliance, but perfectly sized so as to not leave any mess behind. Sounds incredible, you say? You’re damn right it is. It’s perfect. Go try it. Stop reading this, go to Oakhurst, demand the house burger (with fries, they’re amazing too) to accompany your Guinness and I dare you not to love it.

Pub food not your thing? Maybe your friends just wanted a beer and you ended up at this glorious haven of delight, only to realize you don’t want a burger, wings, or fried chicken? Have no fear, Steinbeck’s inexplicable array of international flavors has you covered. Might I recommend the Smoked Pork Tacos with Chili-Tossed Cabbage? Three massive soft tacos stuffed with perfectly slow-cooked shredded pork and spicy cabbage. Honestly, two of them is plenty to fill most stomachs, but hey, spend a couple hours there throwing back some beers, enjoying some conversation, and you’ll end up polishing off the third taco in no time. They also offer, on occasion, brisket tacos with kimchee. Yeah. Kimchee. Check the chalkboard specials for that one, I highly recommend it as well. In fact, anything with brisket is usually on my short list. Especially at Steinbeck’s.

Though if you’re willing to go more out of the box than kimchee and tacos, then check the chalkboard and make sure they’re offering the Chinese Breakfast (I believe its a regular menu item now). Sure, you’re at an Irish pub at 9pm on a Saturday, you probably weren’t feeling like its time for not just breakfast food, but Chinese breakfast at that. But order it. Order it before you read the rest of this paragraph. Jasmine rice topped with grilled leeks, braised pork belly, a sunny side-up egg, finished with a soy-sesame sauce. Yeah, its serious eating. And unlike many pub dishes, its not over-filling. The ingredients are light enough to let you pound through it comfortably, enjoy every bite, and have just enough belly space for a couple more beers. It’s possibly the oddest thing you’ll order at an Irish Pub in town, it may also be one of the best dishes you’ll get anywhere in town. Once you’ve tired of the (incredible) ‘bar food’, make sure you try the Chinese Breakfast.

Chinese Breakfast

Have no fear, vegetarians, you too can enjoy the glory of pimiento with the Pimiento Cheese Sandwich, which is the cheese with a cucumber salad on grilled bread. With fries.

But let’s not forget about the beer!

Steinbeck’s offers a selection of rotating taps, including craft seasonals, old standards (Guinness, Magners), and high-gravity wonders for the post-burger comedown. Don’t be afraid to ask the servers for their opinions on what they’ve got, the folks are quite knowledgeable and incredibly friendly.

Highly recommended.

Steinbeck’s Ale House
659 E Lake Dr, Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 373-1116

http://www.steinbecksbar.com/

They offer live music weekly as well as Sunday brunch (get the Brisket Hash or the French Toast).

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