Seems as though most of my recent meals have been Southern, from fried chicken at Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons in Savannah to pulled pork at multiple barbecue joints around Atlanta. So I gladly accepted a recent lunch invitation from Jody Rosen of the Rosen Group, the PR company that represents Horseradish Grill.
My last visit was a very pleasant evening with LC and another couple. We sat at the bar and shared the restaurant’s signature shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and a big juicy pork chop.
Although I enjoyed all of those dishes, I wanted to be adventurous and explore the menu. Jody recommended the North Carolina style pulled pork served on a crispy corn cake, which he’d been served in miniature at a recent event. Topped with cole slaw and drizzled with barbecue sauce, this hefty appetizer could easily make a hearty lunch.
We sipped our iced teas while chatting about the historic significance of the building that is now the Horseradish Grill. Located across from the North Fulton Golf Course at Chastain Park, it once served as a general store for hungry golfers. Eventually a dining room was opened under the direction of Bill Daly, who furnished the restaurant in the style of a horse stable, with rustic wood beams and traditional equestrian decor.
Steve Alterman purchased the property in 1995, renaming it Horseradish Grill. One of the opening chefs was Dave Berry, a born and bred Southerner who was named executive chef two years later, consistently delivering authentic Southern flavors to the delight of diners, until his departure some years later.
Jody and I decided to share two very different dishes; a lunchtime favorite, the pimento cheese chicken club sandwich and their signature HRG blackened redfish entree. Earthy shiitake mushrooms and grilled asparagus complimented the expertly prepared and seasoned fish, served atop rich, creamy Carolina rice grits. An amazing grainy mustard cream sauce was generously spooned on top adding depth and a bit more decadence.
But that was light compared to the quadruple decker pimento cheese chicken club, a massive stack of deliciousness including tart fried green tomatoes, zesty housemade pimento cheese, grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon and arugula on griddled sourdough. The fries weren’t as crispy as I like, but that’s just nitpicking next to a sandwich that manages to be crispy, melty, and chewy all at the same time.
As we worked on our entrees, owner Steve Alterman came by to say hello and practically insisted we have dessert. We finally agreed to a half serving of their famous Kentucky oatmeal spice cake with housemade caramel ice cream, fresh whipped cream and berries. The warm, moist cake had a crispy exterior with bits of chewy coconut. Amazing.
Horseradish Grill remains the oldest continually operational restaurant in Atanta. The menu has undergone subtle changes over the years, however recently, longtime patrons may have noticed some old favorites have returned, brought back by former chef Berry who is once again heading the kitchen at this neighborhood institution.
4320 Powers Ferry Road NW 404-255-7277