Friday, June 24, 2005

A smart cafe celebrates the most basic of foods

A smart cafe celebrates the most basic of foods
The Times of India

It’s a bread bar, but don’t think of just grilled cheese sandwiches. Atlanta, so named because the owner graduated from college there, is a concept restaurant wrapped around that most basic of foods — bread. And the possibilities seem endless.

The bread bar and cafe spreads over two floors and glass sides provide a view of Church Street bustling below. It has a bright air, complemented by orange flooring and trendy blue chairs. The focal point though is the open kitchen where you can watch pizzas go into the oven, the tossing of salads and a sachertorte being iced.

You may start with a salad and the Greek salad is enjoyable even if it has a dash too much dressing. Or, for a warm starter try the saltcrust tarts filled either with herbed mushrooms or barbecue chicken. Then, of course, there are the s a n dw i ch e s with a choice of breads and fillings. You can have marinated chicken and spiced mayo in a French loaf or grilled aubergine with mozzarella in multi-grain bread. Burgers and hot dogs are also available.

Atlanta’s pizzas emerge from a wood-fired oven with a faintly smoky flavour. There’s the classic margherita, an Indian twist with paneer and pineapple and make-your-own topping choices as well. Atlanta also serves a chicken sizzler and crepes stuffed with ratatouille, all with a selection of breads. The grilled fish is of an excellent quality, but the sauce could do with some lightening up. This is a good place for fish and chips, too. And if you want something with Oriental zest, there’s a Thai-style minced chicken with basil and chillies which comes in a pita pocket. Nice if you like it hot!

Indian breads find a place here, too. Butter naan, tandoori roti and laccha paratha are available — you can have these with a choice of palak kofta curry, mutton roganjosh or murgh tikka masala. Atlanta lives up to its name as a bread bar. The herbed rolls are excellent. Also worth buying while you’re here are the sourdough bread and the Spanish loaf, a buttery, sugary goodie which makes a great breakfast bread. Desserts could do with some tweaking. The Mississippi mud cake is a wee bit eggy and the Florida lime pie unyielding. Atlanta also serves a range of health drinks like a carrot, beetroot and ginger juice and a pomegranate juice. Service is pleasant, but could be smarter. Should you go? Yes, even if one can’t live by bread alone!

ATLANTA BREAD BAR & CAFE
• Pavilion Mall, UG 4, 62 & 63, MG Road, Bangalore 1
• Open from 11 am to 11 pm all days of the week
• Meal for two will cost...Rs 500, for starter, main dish and dessert
• No alcohol
• No wheelchair access

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