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Ria’s Bluebird: Grant Park

posted on March 16, 2007 at 6:24 am

RESTAURANT REVIEW:

When it comes to chefs, Atlanta has very few big personalities that everyone recognizes–Ria Pell is a definite exception. Ria has made quite a name for herself in Atlanta. Her eponymous restaurant has become a neighborhood fixture where people can lazily linger with friends over some pretty solid Southern fare. My experiences there have been mixed in terms of consistency. However, the brisket (pictured above) always satisfies. Ria manages to infuse the beef with a load of flavor and the spicy tomato broth is a welcome compliment to the richness of the beef. The poached egg is always a joy to break open–I love the contrast of the deep yellow yolk against the bright red broth. The dish comes with toasted French bread, which you can dip into the broth to soak up the yumminess or slather with some of Ria’s freshly-made jam (it was apricot on my last visit). My only complaint would be the amount of grease that covered the surface of the broth. But, who really cares? This is rustic neighborhood fare-not the Ritz. A solid member of the Atlanta scene that I would hate to see close. Get there early though—the wait can be long.

RESTAURANT INFORMATION:

Address: 421 Memorial Drive SE
Phone: 404/521-3737
Website
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5 comments

  • Re: Ria’s Bluebird: Grant Park
    posted by: Anonymous · March 16, 2007  2:29 PM

    Best grits in town!

    In the past, I’ve had great service and really bad service. The last bout of bad service has kept me away for quite some time.

  • Re: Ria’s Bluebird: Grant Park
    posted by: Alain · March 22, 2007  8:39 AM

    I have been here several times and the crowds can be a drawback, but the food is always fantastic.

  • Re: Ria’s Bluebird: Grant Park
    posted by: Anonymous · January 28, 2008  10:44 AM

    As a former waitress, I’ve had nothing but good service at Ria’s — but it’s certainly not the kind of service you’d get at Chili’s… no required smiles or jokes, just straightforward gettin’ your food to you. More European style than American.

    And some folks seem to confuse waiting (to be seated, to get their food) with good/bad service. That has way more to do with how crowded the restaurant is than anything else.

  • Re: Ria’s Bluebird: Grant Park
    posted by: nanlovell4 · April 27, 2008  11:11 AM

    Located across from historic Oakland Cemetery, Ria’s Bluebird restaurant is a jewel! Not much to look at from the outside, it is what’s waiting for you on the inside that counts!

    Arriving on a Sunday at 12 noon, one can expect a wait of 20-30 minutes. The décor is simple with brightly colored murals on the walls and a collection of old local street signs hanging among the bamboo “garden” as decoration. Dress code is extremely casual. Outside seating is a must during the warm summer months, although the patio floor accumulates large puddles during rain even though it is covered.

    The table service was acceptable, only a 7 minute wait for the initial greetings by the waiter and once the order was placed, only a 12 minute wait for the food. The menu, which is posted online, has a wide range of choices, including vegetarian. The prices are reasonable, with the average being about $10 per person, drinks included.

    The food is well seasoned making every dish a delight! The “tofu scramble,” a deep bowl of seasoned black beans with 1-inch cubed spicy tofu, large broccoli florets, thick slices of tomato, rings of red onion and a dollop of pesto, was delicious! For a hearty tasting sandwich, try the House Roasted Beef, thick slices of beef piled high on a onion kaiser roll. Served with your choice of a side, their soup of the day makes a fine addition to this tasty sandwich!

    No matter what you order, you will not be disappointed.

    So gather your family and friends and head downtown for a brunch at Ria’s Bluebird Cafe. It is well worth the wait!

  • Re: Ria’s Bluebird: Grant Park
    posted by: Ellie · April 13, 2009  5:51 AM

    What a hearty-looking breakfast.

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