Atlanta Chowhounds: Flip or Leon's, you make the call
I've now been to both Flip (while there was a little bit of a wait but before it got excessive) and Leon's Full Service (new outing from the owners of The Brick Store). And I'm wondering what you think.
Much as I love Richard Blais the TV/kitchen personality, I wasn't blown away by Flip. I thought the (Southern) burger I had was good though precious. And I loved the condiments with all the fried apps we shared, but the actual fried stuff was hit and miss. We had the fried rutabaga, which seemed to be just starch, lacking the funkiness I hated as a youth. The sweet potato 'tater tots' were kinda underdone- still crunchy inside. The plain 'ole frites and tempura (IIRC) were great, though. And they had a decent beer selection but not that big of one. I want to go again, if the crowd isn't too nuts.
Leon's, on the other hand, just blew me away. Granted, they don't have as tight a niche to fill (self imposed by Flip). But they cover more territory, from what I tasted, well in all cases. Frites with a dozen or so sauce choices (masaman curry!). A 'glass o' bacon' that's Benton's, not Jim Dandy. And a bar that's probably beaten by Holeman & Finch, but only for cocktails.
And, on top of the food/drink, I thought Leon's was a good value. And the layout of the restaurant is simple, but interesting. I know the owners, but my impressions aren't affected by that relationship. I was as excited for them as for myself after eating there.
What say you?
I'm using a couple of well-known references for similar stuff- Ore Ida Tater Tots and Waffle House hash browns. They can still have some texture on the inside, but it's mostly just soft, cooked starch. If the inside is still crunchy, to me that just means they're not cooked enough. Similar to me making hash browns at home without steaming somewhat first. That's why I very infrequently try to cook that sort of thing at home.