Goin' Coastal in Atlanta is a good seafood idea
This story is republished from July, 2012
By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
I recently had an excellent trip to Atlanta to visit Jana, my graduating daughter and new mother of my 3-month-old newest grandchild, Penelope (below), during which time I also got to experience the cutting edge, happening side of Atlanta.
Thanks and props to Jana, her man Chris, and their daughter Penelope for showing us a fabulous time in a very cool part of Atlanta called the Virginia Highlands. This is a happening kind of place labeled, 'the Southeast's dining, shopping & entertainment district.' The Virgina Highlands was developed in the early 1900's and consists of seven distinct commercial "villages" alternating with short, walkable blocks of charming bungalow homes. The neighborhood's name derives from the intersection of Virginia and Highland Avenues
There is something for everyone in the Virginia Highlands. The weekend we were there, the highlight was a weekend art show with live musical performances.
Before dinner, please allow me to give kudos to that very cute child Penelope for being an excellent dinner partner with no complaints, crying, or having to leave the table.
Jana selected Atlanta's seafood restaurant Goin' Coastal for the GLOB Master's first dinner in the Virgina Highlands. Goin' Coastal is a popular restaurant with an admirable approach toward local sustainability by "featuring only the highest quality seafood from sources, either fished or farmed that can exist over the long-term without compromising species' survival or the health of the ecosystem."
I like to call myself a professional eater and there is something special about a great dining experience combined with doing the right thing for the environment. Goin' Coastal puts these two components of fine dining together and the result was a wonderful evening of fun, food, and feeling good about ourselves.
The four of us were hungry as we checked the dinner menu. We decided that, since we were there to check out the restaurant, we should all order something different. Keeping that thought in mind the dinner list below was for just the four of us:
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- Coastal Crab & Shrimp Dip
- Family Style Salad
- Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken (Mike)
- Southern Fried Platter (Chris)
- Mussels (Jana)
- Fried Pacific Cod (Lynn)
- Herb Roasted New Potatoes
- Jalapeno Cornbread Pudding
- Shoe String French Fries
- Buttered Corn on the Cob
Amidst exclamations such as 'Oh my try this,' 'Wow did you try the chicken?' 'The roasted potatoes are REALLY good,' the four of us were united in a superb communal feeding as we shared from each other's plates.
To put it simply, dinner at Goin' Coastal was excellent. There were so many extraordinary flavors goin' on that my taste buds reached Nirvana.
Our appetizers started dinner off with a gastronomical spring board. The Fried Green Tomaroes were crispy yet juicy on the inside. (Note to Farmer Bubba: there was no white stringy stuff in these tomatoes.) Our Crab & Shrimp casserole dip with toasted bread was rich and flavorful. The freshness of the ingredients was apparent and we pronounced ourselves happy eaters.
The sides were a hit: The spinach was sauteed and seasoned perfectly, the greens soft but not mushy and not overwhelmed with smokiness, the corn tender and sweet. The roasted potatoes were my favoite. With all the eager diners there wasn't enough Jalapeno Corn Bread Pudding to go around.
The Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken was a hit with the GLOB Master. The sharp flavor of the goat cheese combined with the mild taste of the chicken breast resulted in a juicy, tart flavorful combination that I wasn't real keen on sharing with my dining partners.
However I did want to taste what my dinner partners were having. See, there is always a dilemma of some sort to confront.
Chris's fried seafood platter was excellent. Lightly battered and mildly seasoned, the oysters and shrimp were able to stand out above the ingredients of the fried coating on these ocean dwelling protein wonders.
Guest of honor Jana Sanford was very happy with her dinner of fresh mussels steamed with garlic, tossed with white wine, fresh basil, and sundried tomato beurree blanc. "Dinner was fantastic, the flavors just right, and everything tasted very fresh," Jana said.
Lynn is not a big fish eater but when sheh does, cod is her preference. But cod is usally a no-no beause most is from the Atlantic. But she lucked out becuse Pacific cod, which is not threatened, was on the menu. "It didn't look special, but it WAS, It was some of the best cod ever - delicate but with a meatiness that most fish don't have. YUM!!!"
It's hard to imagine, but after dinner, since we were celebrating, remember, we asked our server what was for dessert.
Props to our server for not only doing an excellent job with our table but also for his honesty when he suggested the best dessert would be from the ice cream shop right next door.
What a wonderful evening in Atlanta. My granddaughter Penelope never fussed once during the whole evening! And I have a new appreciation of Atlanta that bypassed the skyscraper alley ways and busy streets and situated us in a wonderful community of interesting, fun things to experience.
I'm going back to Atlanta's Virginia Highlands.