March 26, 2004 12:35 AM | By Adam Roberts | 3 Comments

Agnes & Muriel's (Atlanta)

Since I'll be leaving Atlanta soon, I think it's important that I leave behind a legacy of places to eat. Think of the millions of followers who will one day visit the city of my origin--like Avon historians visiting Stratford--without a guide as to where to go, what to do, where to chow down. I owe a duty to my far-flung readers--the Malaysians, the Parisians, and those Outside the Perimeter*--to point them on a path of gastronomical fulfillment; to paint my fair city with its many flavorful colors. I owe my readers a Top 10 Atlanta list and God help me if I don't include Agnes and Muriel's.

Look, I'll be the first to admit: it's not for everyone. I know people who say: "I had a bad experience at Agnes and Muriels." I even relate to them because I too had a bad experience at Agnes and Muriels (food poisoning from the pot roast, but let's not go there). Yet, when I'm shivering in some New York hovel, pining for my days below the Mason Dixon line, I'll be craving not Seeger's eggshell-stuffed caviar custard or the Ritz-Carlton's shotglass oysters. I'll be pining for a warm little hideaway; a kitschy house with Barbie Dolls, 50s television sets and flamboyant waiters. I'll be pining for:


Let's start with the atmosphere. There is nothing like it---unless you live in a trailer park shrine to Howdy Doody; or MGM Studio's Prime Time Cafe. (But even that pales in comparison). Let's start with the exterior. Look how cute this house is:


Don't you want to go inside? Notice the inflatable bunny head inside the tree? You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Check out this bizarre creation at the hostess stand:


Or this fabulous coffee-cup chandelier:


Do you see why I love this place? It's kitsch! It's fun! It's Agnes and Muriels! And check out the babes:


I think I've made my point. But now you're probably wondering: "Ok, Adam, you showed us the decor; how's the food?"

The food is fun! It's kitsch! It's yummy!

For starters, Lauren and I shared a plate of Fried Green Tomatoes:


They were terrific, with some kind of smoked chili sauce and feta cheese. The tomatoes had lots of flavor.

Then for my entree: boneless fried chicken breasts, sweet potato fries, and noodle kugel.


This food is comforting and so bad for you. And fusion in a very delicious way: Southern cooking by way of Liberace. You gotta love it.


* For those not familiar with the parlance, "Outside The Perimeter" denotes anyone who lives outside of Atlanta proper. Its meaning, though, is rather derisive: it suggests inferior education, significant tooth decay and a son named Bubba. Living Outside the Perimeter (OTP), to be honest, means you're a hick.


I am ashamed to admit I have never been. And it looks cute, cute, cute. That's it, I think I am going for dinner tonight. First I need to consult Zagats to get the phone number, but I am on the way! Thanks for the idea.

Oooh, I wanna go, I wanna go! I like kitsch and fun! We don't get enough of that here - here everybody tries to be all serious and the next three-star revelation or something. We need kitsch, and I mean now!

We visited 3/29/08. Unfortunately, they were out of cookbooks, so call ahead if that is what you are looking for. The desserts were the best - we shared Banana Pudding, Chocolate Cream Pie and Warm Pecan Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. The CC pie was the best! We enjoyed the Coca-Cola Baby Back Ribs, Fried Chicken, Cornbread, Sweet Potato Fries, Silver Queen Corn Pudding, Squash Casserole, Fried Green Tomatoes and Crab Cakes very much. We were not impressed with the Green Bean Casserole which consisted of blanched green beans with fried onion rings on top. Our server explained it was the decision of a new chef - I don't know, but it was weird. The garlic fries were blah, and surprisingly, the Mac & Cheese was just OK. Overall, we enjoyed Agnes & Muriel's and highly recommend it (order the Chocolate Cream Pie)!!!

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