Last Friday was just such an occasion…sunny and 78 degrees. I met my friend TJ at Noche in Town Brookhaven for some margaritas and small plates. A couple of seats opened up at the bar inside, so we waited there for a table on their expansive patio, ordering a skinny margarita for me and a frou frou flavored one for him.
Long before Tom Catherall converted his upscale Tex-Mex menu to trendy tapas, I was quite a regular at the original Noche in the Virginia Highlands. But that was years ago. Now there are multiple locations around metro Atlanta, including the newest one in Town Brookhaven.
Back then, they served gigantic New Zealand green lip mussels in a very spicy broth as an appetizer. They were awesome. No longer the New Zealand variety, Noche still offers mussels, now in a lobster chili broth with posole and crusty bread. I was somewhat confused since posole is a popular Mexican stew, and our bartender/server described the dish as “very salty”, but I crossed my fingers and ordered it anyway, along with pork carnitas and queso with chips to start. We had taken up residence, not on the patio, but at the bar, with one side open to the patio. Close enough.
First out was the basket of thin, light chips and American style white queso…a lovely pairing with margaritas. Steamed mussels came out next. The menu neglected to mention that the broth contained diced tomatoes. I love tomatoes but not with seafood. There was also lots of hominy, cooked corn kernels with the hull and germ removed. I grew up eating hominy and love its toothsome texture. Tomatoes and hominy are both ingredients in posole which likely explains the odd menu description. And I didn’t find the dish to be overly salty either.
A small plate with two big chunks of twice cooked pork arrived, charred and chewy on the outside, tender and smoky on the inside. The carnitas were served with a fresh salad made of shredded lettuce, crushed avocado, and radish slices. I requested a couple of corn tortillas instead of the flour variety to make tasty little tacos. At this point we were both on margarita number three.
All in all, food was good, drinks were strong, and the atmosphere was fun. I guess I’ll try out their patio next spring.
705 Town Blvd. NE 404-364-9448