NOVEMBER PICK OF THE MONTH
Every month I will be carefully selecting a new experience that I deem worthy of the spotlight. It may be a hidden gem that some may or may not know about. It may be an older place that some have forgotten about. It may be a new find that is starting to make waves. Regardless of what category it falls into, it will be a recent experience that I strongly believe you should encounter for yourself.
This month, I chose to feature.....ATLAS EATS.
Atlas Eats has become one of my favorite places in Rochester and hopefully soon to be yours. It's tucked away in Irondequoit off of North Clinton Ave. The exterior is completely unassuming. You would think it's just your regular Mom and Pop neighborhood restaurant and bakeshop, which technically it is, but in reality it is SO much more than that.
The restaurant opened up in July 2013 by owners Diane and Gerry Brinkman. They formerly had a restaurant in the 1000 Islands and were looking to open a restaurant closer to home. Their 2 daughters are also affiliated with the restaurant. One daughter serves as the Chef De Cuisine and the other provides fresh produce to Atlas Eats from her local farm in Farmington, NY called Pachamama Farms.
The name Atlas Eats is inspired by the chef's love of international cuisine. This is reflected in both the menu and the decor. Breakfast and lunch are served from Thursday-Sunday, however dinner is ONLY served on Fridays and Saturday with reserved seating.
Each month features a different region, this month the menu is centered on Italian cuisine, whereas next month they are featuring New Orleans. The regions have ranged from Greece to Spain and continue to change. You can expect to never taste the same dinner at Atlas Eats. Reserve ahead of time as they tend to book up rather quickly!
'Angry Chefs make Angry Food', says Diane, co-owner of Atlas Eats when I asked her on what I should share about their restaurant and their chef's philosophy. This is NOT to say their cooks are angry, but she was describing what it is about their food that makes it SO good. It's the philosophy that your emotions can translate into the food you create. The love and appreciation that Atlas Eats has for their food is invested into their ingredients and the harmonizing of each dish.
And that my friends is some good loving.
Here's the 411 you'll need to get started with:
- WEBSITE: http://www.atlas-eats.com
- LOCATION: 875 North Clinton Ave (In the middle of a residential area)
- PRICES: All breakfast items are $6. I repeat ALL breakfast items are $6. 6 Freaking Dollars, OK? Lunch items range from $8-$12. Dinner is a a 5 course offering for $35 per person, which is pretty reasonable if you ask me.
- AMBIANCE: Inviting. Unpretentious. Warm. Simple. The decor is inspired by their 'global' take on cuisine with maps, globes, and clocks surrounding you.
Let's move onto the cuisine. I've sampled almost everything on the breakfast menu and a few lunch items, so I will give you the scoop on what I have enjoyed thus far.
First we must start with the Kim Chee Pancakes, because I know you're thinking what kind of pancakes?? Kim Chee or also spelled Kim Chi is a staple dish in Korea. It is a red cabbage fermented using a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chile peppers, and other spices. What you didn't know is that Atlas Eats actually makes homemade kimchi! Would ya just look at it? (YouTube reference for those who get it).
Kim Chi with whole wheat pancakes sounds like a very odd pairing from the onset. However, the combination of the savory pancakes with the spicy dragon sauce, poached egg on top with with sprigs of fresh cilantro...it just works so well together. You need to try it to believe me! I was pleasantly surprised.
My next favorite would be the Ranchero Roll. Eggs. Avocado. Salsa. Sour Cream. Layered on housemade focaccia bread. Topped with Bacon. If that doesn't sound like a foodgasm in your mouth, then I'm not sure that you and I can be friends anymore. Seriously. It's that GOOD.
Other top picks would be the Kim Chee Fried Rice Bowl with an egg on top. The Sausage Gravy Biscuit made with Cheddar Biscuits.The Chicken Cutlet Muffaletta on Ciabatta. Basically you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. Your smorgasboard is featured in the photos below.
I would be remiss if I didn't end with the best part of all. Dessert! Atlas Eats has an onsite bakeshop that makes everything from homemade bread pudding, to pumpkin cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate ganache with a walnut filling, sourdough & rye bread filled with pecans, and I could go on and on, but I'll let you choose for yourself. Everything is $6 or below in the bakeshop.
You better get something for your mom.
At the end of the day, I voted Atlas Eats as my pick of the month because they make OUTSTANDING food without breaking the bank.
Thank you Atlas Eats for inspiring the Rochester Community and sharing your love and passion for food!