Cherokee Cattle Company, Marietta GA

This is Marie, weighing in on the visit we made recently to The Cherokee Cattle Company. Admittedly, my contribution on this one is in large part because there are desserts involved, though the food itself was quite tasty.

My father-in-law picked this location for his birthday dinner. It is one of a small group of four local restaurants, each of them with a different name and arranged around a different theme, owned by “friend-of-Food-Network” Gus Tselios. Marietta Fish Market, Pasta Bella, and the original Marietta Diner are the other three locations. The Cherokee Cattle Company is a steak house and actually predates the other stores. For years, it was independently owned and proudly fought off regional competition from the likes of Longhorn and Outback, but joined the “Diner Family” in 2008. The menu was changed somewhat to fall in line with the others, and to bring the somewhat outsize dinner portions and ridiculously outsize desserts to Canton Road.

One of the best things about this particular location is that of the four, it’s the only one where you don’t usually have to wait for a year and a half to get a table. Mainly it’s just that it’s the biggest of the places, and the parking isn’t quite up to the capacity of the interior (an interior, I should mention, filled with things like antler chandeliers, but if you can ignore that sort of thing you’ll be fine). One of the worst things (for me–it won’t be a problem for anyone but the other four people in the universe who dislike the stuff) is that this place has an unnatural fondness for bacon. Having it appear on my salad was a little discouraging, if for no other reason than that I honestly ought to have remembered from last time that a vegetarian salad needs a special request. However, there were folks at the table willing to take the contaminated salad off my hands, and give every appearance of enjoying the favor they did to me.

Steaks don’t make it onto my plate very often. Most of the time they’re too big for my appetite. Also, since a bad steak is worse than no steak at all, they only get ordered when there’s plenty of money in the budget, or when there is a special occasion. I chose a rib eye because Grant doesn’t like that cut much and I’m disinclined to get a bunch of different slabs of meat for home cooking when it’s so hard to keep track of what is finished when. Which is, of course, one of the benefits of going to a steak house–timing the cooking is someone else’s problem. Actually, the best steak on our table was my father-in-law’s, which came with a bucket containing enough horseradish to clean out the sinuses of Napoleon’s army on the way back from Moscow.

The sweet potato fries are almost thick enough to reach towards home fry status, which as I understand it is a little hard for sweet potatoes as the sugars caramelize rather quickly. Generally fry portions defeat me well before half-way, but these were worth munching a bit longer, in no small part because the thicker fries held their heat better.

Grant got the salmon. Just because we were down the street from the place that specializes in fish doesn’t mean he got second-best; it was very well made, quite simply (as is best for fish) and with a little bit of crispiness around the edges. However, as has been said before, he likes fish rather more than I do, so we were not in danger of menu envy this time.

We closed the meal with some of the death-defying desserts. The selections of the table included cheesecake with and without strawberries, tiramisu cake, and some kind of death by chocolate concoction. Please note that there were seven of us, my piece of cheesecake was bought separately as a take-home item, and we still managed to bring home samples of every one of the cakes along with our other leftovers. Do not come to any of the four locations without a really good appetite, or an awful lot of time, unless you plan to leave with enough for tomorrow’s lunch box and maybe a snack after work, too. But do take home some dessert even if you can’t choke it down immediately after eating yourself silly. Just because the pieces are bigger than your head doesn’t mean they skimp on the quality.

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