Leon’s Full Service, Decatur GA

This is Marie, contributing an article about Leon’s Full Service in Decatur. The girlchild had other plans for the afternoon, so we went off with just the baby for a lunch together. These days that almost counts as a date meal! It helped that we had to park quite a ways away from the restaurant due to the rather appalling parking shortage in Decatur’s shopping district, so we got to pass by and dip into the cute little bookstore, Little Shop of Stories, along the way.

They had a board book of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, my favorite book as a child. I have a paperback and hardcover of it for our baby, but the boy likes books so much I’ll have to get him a copy in board book format. After all, he needs a constant stream of new copies because he loves his books to death – they lose pages and covers and get gnawed on in between being presented for multiple read-throughs! But this is supposed to be an article about a restaurant, so we’ll save the bookstore for another time. Should you happen to visit Leon’s, however, I recommend ambling around all the nearby establishments.

Of course we had the pub frites, because that is a specialty of the place, but we had them as sides to some of the restaurant’s really appealing sandwiches. Grant had the fried green tomato sandwich (which appears to have been a special, since I can’t find it on the regular menu) and I had the grass-fed burger. He enjoyed his tremendously, but then he likes fried green tomatoes more than anyone else in the world.

My burger was quite tasty as well, though fairly substantial and a bit more than I could handle along with the fries. The baby has been developing a taste for fries, which is not indulged as much as he would like considering their salt and fat content. We can vouch for his approval on these, though he got rather impatient waiting for them to cool off enough for him to share. They are of course hand-cut on premises and come with a variety of options for dipping sauces. Our choices were the madras curry catsup and the black pepper mayo. It’s best if several people get these so everyone can share the dipping sauces.

Grant mentioned that under different circumstances he would have gotten a beer with his lunch, and I can definitely see a group of friends having an excellent evening together talking over beers and shared orders of fries. There were certainly enough other people ordering beer judging by the foaming glasses that passed us regularly on their way to other tables. Since Leon’s has a policy of maintaining relationship with local businesses (Sweetgrass Dairy and Pearson Farms, for example), Decatur’s Beer Festival in the fall undoubtedly gives them a great opportunity to make new selections every year.

Seeing Pearson’s Farm on the list made me miss the lovely green peach (the Pearson-Berta) that I’d gotten from them on the last visit to the farmer’s market in Marietta and started me off on a daydream about peach cobbler made from the odd little variety that is only available one week a year and is still a little bit green when it is completely ripe and soft. That is really the best part of seeing a business use local ingredients – you have memories of using them yourself and the food doesn’t come to you with no more context than the plate it is on.

To close out the meal, we happened to see that there was a King of Pops stand in the nearby park, and we picked up a strawberry lemonade popsicle. It was a sweet little end of a tasty afternoon, and very welcome in the heat.


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