Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ladies Night at Leon's Full Service

Tuesday night I got together with a couple of neighborhood ladies. 

I'd never met Traci before — but I'd wanted to because she's an avid commenter on my blogs. She's also finishing a STUNNING renovation on her Emory-area home that I knew would be fun to talk about. 

The other two ladies were Vica and Naomi. They're both expecting, both owners of older homes they're updating, both Decaturites as well. So I knew we were in for some fun discussion.

This was maybe my fourth or fifth time to Leon's Full Service (Church Street at West Ponce in Decatur). It's fun, it's lively, the food is always good and the beer offerings are always interesting. So the downtown Decatur locale is easily one of our go-to spots in the 'hood. Leon's is also great about splitting entrees with no upcharge. Naomi is a regular, Traci had been a few times — and Vica had it on her short list of new places to try.

After an especially busy day at work, I knew exactly what beverage I wanted: Allagash White. It's Allagash's take on a traditional Belgian — and I think it makes for a great, light summer beer. Mmm.  ($4.50 per glass)

The other ladies took advantage of Leon's highly acclaimed mixologist on duty. 'Twas the $9 Peruvian Punch for Traci (she was assured by the waitress that the drink wasn't too sweet, like what you think of when you hear tropical punch). Naomi ordered a ginger soda concoction ($5) she's asked the bartender to make before — and Vica quickly followed with, "I'll take one of those, too!" No reason a pregnant girl can't get a fancy drink from the bar!

Food-wise, of course we had to start out with the pub frites ($6). None of us gals are picky, so we had trouble deciding which of the 8 - 10 delicious sauces to choose from. I suggested the massaman curry as a good choice — and Naomi chimed in that the goat cheese fondue is one of her faves. The waitress was nice enough to bring us a third dipping sauce (smoked tomato mayonnaise) gratis. Thank you, waitress! And I swear that the silver cup of fancy french fries gets bigger every time I go to Leon's! This time we four gals struggled to finish the whole pile but somehow prevailed. Mmmm. Perfectly golden, salted just enough — and even more divine when plunged into the tasty sauces.

We also split the bacon in a glass with a side of fresh peanut butter. I had been wanting to try this appetizer but for some reason always felt too goofy to order it. Naomi told our group it was a must! The bacon was cut thick and fried just short of break-apart-crispy. The peanut butter accoutrement wasn't your run of the mill Jiff or Peter Pan; it's a gritty, all-natural peanut butter with very little sweetness. The bacon and peanut butter work very well together. ($5 for the bacon in a glass, plus $.50 for the p-butter supplement)

Traci decided to try to the crispy skin trout over a bed of coleslaw, radicchio and endive ($14). Her verdict: very tasty and light. Even though Traci's not usually a fan of coleslaw, she enjoyed this particular variety because of a flavorful asian dressing.

Naomi went for the bone-in pork chop ($17). Does that look delish or what? The waitress warned the pork chop's sauce was a little spicy — but Naomi didn't let that scare her. While it was indeed spicy, Naomi enjoyed the green curry sauce the pork chop laid in. She wasn't crazy about the grit cake or its texture. The verdict: rather good, but probably wouldn't order again because of that pesky grit cake.

Vica has been on a veggie sandwich kick for the last several months (pregnant women are not supposed to eat deli meat because of possible listeria in it). Even though the meat sandwiches at Leon's (open-faced BBQ, shrimp gryo, etc.) aren't deli meat ones, Vica was feeling this roasted fresh veggie hero. The verdict: thumbs up, especially on the orzo side dish.

As much as I tried to talk myself out of it all day leading up to dinner, I still ended up ordering the veggie loaf (a veggie take on a meatloaf). It's so freaking good! Sundried tomatoes, cauliflower, several types of mushrooms, grains... I have a not-so-secret love affair with this freaking dish! ($14) And I had enough to bring home half to Dan (he thoroughly enjoyed).

The total damage for me: $28 plus tip (for a quarter of the pub frites, a quarter of the bacon, two beers and an entree). 

Leon's, you have my heart!


The Orkins said...

We need to do it again soon!

Husband polished off my pork chop on Thursday - he loved the grit cake/polenta thing and said he is ordering the pork chop next time.

hiking in stilettos said...

Oooh, all of the pictures are making me hungry! I love Leon's, especially those pub fries! It never disappoints!

Vica said...

I had so much fun! Maybe we can do it again in July before I go into a month long baby coma.

Vica said...

I had so much fun! Maybe we can do it again in July before I go into a month long baby coma.

Traci said...

Great review Katy! It was a lot of fun and we should definitely do it again - we could do an entire tour of Decatur restaurants :) Yes, we'll have to be quick though, because Vica will be very occupied for quite a while after July, and Naomi isn't too far behind :)