Baked

It’s a beautiful winter’s night in Atlanta: cold, rainy, and around 42 degrees. It’s the perfect weather to stay home and have a hot chocolate. We don’t feel like going out, but it’s Date Night and we don’t have anything to eat in the house anyway. So out we go, to Baked, which is about three miles from our house in East Cobb.
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There used to be a Mountasia Mini-Golf course here “back in the day”. Now, it’s just another one of the seemingly-endless shopping centers in East Cobb.

The dining room is pretty simple.
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None of the furniture matches. It looks as if it is entirely purchased from Craigslist, giving the place a funky vibe. You mosey up to the counter to order.
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You order off the giant hanging menu. There are paper menus for those who don’t want to look up.
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You can eat it here, or you can take it home to your tired husband, who didn’t feel like cooking today. We see a lot of to-go orders. We eat ours here, and we get some to go. The best of both worlds.

Beer and wine are available if you eat in.
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Our Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale and Highland Gaelic Ale are nice drinks to while away this nasty night. There’s lots of coffee in the Avery beer and the Highland tastes like a malty Scotch ale.

We order an appetizer to have with our beers.
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The pork belly tacos are listed as an appetizer, but you could order these as your meal and be perfectly happy with them. There’s a thick slab of slaw-covered pork belly on each one. The pork melts in your mouth as you eat it. This is a great dish to share with your date.

Eve is in the mood for something hot and orders the chicken tortilla soup.
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She gets what she asks for. It’s a bit spicy and full of big chunks of chicken. The bowl is not huge, but the chicken and tortillas make this a hearty soup.

You can get it fried at Baked and I do.
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On a night like this, all I want is comfort food. I am very comfortable after this plate of fried pork chops, mac and cheese, and Brussels sprouts. I share some with my date. The pork chops are nice and juicy on the inside. There is a ton of Vermont cheddar in the homemade mac and cheese. The sprouts are lightly seasoned, which allows the flavor of the vegetable to come through. This is a lot of food for under $10.

Dessert is piping hot.
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The apple-blackberry cobbler has a soft crust. It’s made with tart granny smith apples that almost have the consistency of applesauce. The tart apples go well with the sweet blackberries. Eve would rather have had cranberries as the blackberry seeds keep getting stuck in her teeth.

Before we go, we order some to-go food for our son, who has worked all day while his parents goofed off. Check out this Southern Boy (So-Bo?) burger , which is the special tonight.
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An angus patty is covered in cheese, and then covered with pulled pork and fried onions. It comes with pickles and slaw to put on top of the burger and fries. Put it on Texas toast and it’s a creative and tasty way to present a burger. The fries did not do well on the trip home as the steam inside of the box made them a bit soggy. Although we try to crisp them up in the oven, it only helps a bit. I have a feeling these would have been a lot better at the restaurant. You might want to substitute a different side that will travel better like the excellent mac and cheese.

Score factor (out of 5): If you bring a date here, give it a 2. It shows that you aren’t trying to impress, but that you know it’s good food at a good price and neither of you will leave hungry. If you bring the food home to your tired spouse, the score factor goes up to a 3, unless your spouse is TOO tired. Sometimes you want to relax, and a plate of Baked comfort food brought home at the just the right time can really make someone feel good.
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The bottom line on Baked: With good food, big portions, and great prices, Baked is our kind of place. We will return, to sample more things on their dinner menu and try a sandwich at lunch. Rumor has it they are opening another location inside the perimeter so perhaps there will be one closer to you soon.

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