Deca­dent din­ing in Emory Point

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

Emory Point, a self-de­scribed “pres­ti­gious” mixed-use de­vel­op­ment, be­came a din­ing des­ti­na­tion four years ago with the open­ing of The Gen­eral Muir, re­garded as the best deli in At­lanta by many. Since then, the num­ber of restau­rants has grown to nearly a dozen.

Two of the most re­cent are Papi’s Cuban and Caribbean Grill and Boruboru Sushi Bur­rito + Bowl. Be­sides sharing in­ter­net­friendly long names, both are also in­ex­pen­sive and well worth vis­it­ing.

Papi’s (1540 Av­enue Place, De­catur, 404-320-0165, www.pa­pis­grill.com)

will not be un­fa­mil­iar to Mid­town­ers who vis­ited the orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion on Ponce de Leon, which opened a dozen or so years ago. Since then, it grew into a chain of seven restau­rants, mainly in the sub­urbs.

I have to ad­mit, I was never very im­pressed with the orig­i­nal Papi’s. That may have changed with my visit to the new lo­ca­tion with three friends. We didn’t get a broad sam­pling of the menu, but the three items we or­dered all rated well. I ac­tu­ally or­dered a Puerto Ri­can dish rather than a Cuban one – mo­fongo. It’s fried green plan­tains mashed with pork, gar­lic and some pep­pers, usu­ally served in a ball over a slur­pable pork broth. It’s avail­able as an app or, as I or­dered, an en­trée topped with shrimp sautéed in a tomato-based sauce. It could have used a bit more sauce in the ab­sence of the pork broth and I would love to en­counter crispy bits of pork fat. But I’ll or­der it again, for sure.

We also or­dered ma­sitas de Puerco, which was my favorite dish at Las Palmeras. Ma­sitas are chunks of pork mar­i­nated in clas­sic, gar­licky mojo. They are pan-fried un­til they be­come al­most crispy and served with black beans and rice. Fi­nally, we or­dered a tra­di­tional Cuban sand­wich, ad­e­quate but not re­ally any­thing very spe­cial. If you want the best there is, go to El Su­per Pan at Ponce City Mar­ket.

Boruboru (1568 Av­enue Place, At­lanta, 404-458-5518, www.boruboru.com)

is des­tined to be­come my new ob­ject of glut­tony, even though I’ve only had one lunch there with greedy friends. It is the lat­est restau­rant to of­fer the hy­per-trendy and health­ful poke (POH-keh) – a Hawai­ian-in­spired bowl of raw fish com­bined with veg­eta­bles served over rice. Boruboru’s chef/owner is Michael Rome Noe, who worked at Tomo, one of the city’s best sushi bars. That means the fish is sparkling and the bowls are gor­geously as­sem­bled.

You can or­der house-de­signed bowls or as­sem­ble your own. I ac­tu­ally skipped the sushi and or­dered the rice bowl with a per­fectly sautéed soft-shell crab in a bed of shred­ded cab­bage, pick­led jalapeños, as­para­gus and the mys­te­ri­ously fla­vor­ful house dress­ing. My friend Brad or­dered a sal­mon bowl with av­o­cado, roasted mush­rooms, crispy fried onions and as­para­gus. His bowl was empty – I kid you not – be­fore Brian and I had four bites. Brian de­signed his own sushi rice bowl with spicy tuna, av­o­cado, mush­rooms, crispy onions and cu­cum­ber.

You can or­der your bowls with­out rice or, most weirdly, as a bur­rito – known as a sushirrito. No, the wrap­per isn’t a tor­tilla; it’s a sheet of nori, the seaweed wrap. Ba­si­cally, it’s a take on a clas­sic cone-shaped hand roll.

You have to try both. Maybe you could ar­range a pro­gres­sive din­ner – per­haps a more del­i­cately fla­vored sushirrito at Boruboru fol­lowed by a weight­ier bur­rito at Papi’s.

Cliff Bo­s­tock is a for­mer psy­chother­a­pist now spe­cial­iz­ing in life coach­ing. Con­tact him at 404-518-4415 or cliff­bo­stock@gmail.com.

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