Monday, March 2, 2009

Restaurant Reviews: Wintzell's Oyster House, Urban Flat Bread

Wintzell’s Oyster House-Mobile, AL: On my way down to Mardi Gras I stopped at Wintzell’s for a half dozen oysters and a shrimp po-boy. I’m becoming to establish some criteria for what I want in oysters. First and foremost, I won’t eat oysters in a non-coastal area. I’ve had two bad experiences with oysters in Atlanta, Ga so I won’t eat them anywhere where they aren’t fresh out of the water. Second, I want cocktail sauce and fresh horseradish. I don’t want you to give me some ketchup and tell me to make my own cocktail sauce. This is why I don’t eat oysters at Cooter Brown’s in New Orleans. Third, I want them to be shucked cleanly. I hate it when oysters have grime on them. The oysters at Wintzell’s met all of my criteria. They were also a good size, not too big, but not too small. I would definitely eat oysters here again. My po-boy on the other hand was a little disappointing. The first noticeable problem was it was not served on traditional French bread. It was served on some kind of weird wanna-be French bread that was covered in butter. Secondly, the shrimp were too big. I hate po-boys that are made of popcorn shrimp, but I also hate it when they just have five or six jumbo shrimp on them. I’d try Wintzell’s again, but I’m not getting a po-boy, that’s for sure.

Urban Flat Breads-Nashville, TN: Urban Flat Breads is located in the bottom of the Icon building in the Gulch area of Nashville. The Gulch is an area that has several higher end “lofts” and “flats” that have been recently constructed, thus the name. Our group ordered several outstanding appetizers: Lobster Mac and Cheese, Loaded Potato Dip, and Spinach Artichoke Dip. For my entrée I had an artichoke, wild mushroom, and Goat Cheese flat. It consisted of roasted artichoke, wild mushrooms, roasted red peppers, spinach, and goat cheese served on a whole wheat flatbread. It was outstanding, but I wish they would have gone a little lighter on the ranch-like dressing that topped it. Overall I liked Urban Flat Breads. I thought it was a great concept with a great menu. I also thought they had an excellent, but somewhat overpriced wine list. Many of the reviews I read slammed the restaurant for its décor. I’ll have to say I agreed with this. The décor is a little sterile and boring, although I did like some of the photographs of local landmarks. Would I eat there again? Sure. Will it work into my rotations of favorites? It could, but it probably won’t.

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