I had lunch at a couple of pretty nice and fun places in the last couple of weeks. David and I had a bite at the almost-in-Vinings location of Vermont Mustard Company. Interestingly, this is a rare example of a restaurant that has either held its prices for ages or dropped them a little bit. Many, many years ago, I stopped by and, without remembering details, was surprised by the cost of sandwiches here. David also remembers them once seeming quite high, but as everybody else’s food costs have gone up, and only the national chains have borne the cost by sapping quality, Vermont Mustard is now pretty much in line with every good high-end sandwich joint.
These are certainly good sandwiches. I had the roast beef, because I was in the mood for the horseradish that comes with it. There was a short wait while the sandwiches were made, allowing us to enjoy the really fantastic design of the place. It’s meant to evoke a little country shop from the Green Mountain State, with imported jams, syrups and, of course, mustard. Unlike some places that we’ve visited lately that offer completely off-kilter and off-brand groceries in the “store” – I’m still baffled by the boxed mac and cheese that we found at an ice cream shop in Marietta – this all makes sense and helps the atmosphere a good deal.
On the other side of the equation, there’s the Marietta Pizza Company, on the historic Marietta square and serving up big New York-styled slices. The atmosphere here is one of wild, sports bar abandon and craziness. Marie and I got a big kick out of the silly signs for the restrooms. They use shadowboxes with action figures and comic book collages in them: The Creeper for the gents’ and Power Girl for the ladies’.
This place has always been completely crazy and popular; I’d actually made an effort to eat here a couple of weeks before and left because of the long lunchtime line. I was surprised that they didn’t expand to a second location successfully. For a while, they did have a movie theater-friendly place over by the AMC on Barrett and Cobb Place, in the space that Sushi Bites has today, and the children and I ate there several times from 2003-05. Speaking of kids, on Saturdays, this is apparently the place where everybody in Cobb County with children come to eat. Plan accordingly; I’ve never seen so many tantrums in one place in one hour in my life.
Marie asked that I draw your attention to the dogs on the right-hand side of the picture. As I put the camera away, one of ‘em drew up and started making his desire for pizza obvious by rearing up on his hind legs and giving his master an affectionate licking while the poor man was trying to eat.
The slices are pretty good, about on the same level as G’Angelo’s or Baby Tommy’s. Really, these aren’t going to bowl anybody over, but they’re perfectly good for what they are, and if you enjoy chaotic and wild lunchtime experiences while some awesome servers somehow manage to contain the madness, then this place is worth a stop. Honestly, I came by in the evening once about seven years ago and had a perfectly pleasant and comparatively quiet time. I guess it’s just lunch when this joint gets turned upside down. Tip your servers well; they’re deserving combat pay!