Thursday, June 2, 2011

Atlantic City Southern Cuisine = Deliciousness!!

Tonight (Wednesday), I was treated to dinner in Atlantic City at a restaurant I hadn't heard of before. We went to Redding's Ultimate Southern Cuisine on Pacific Avenue about three blocks north of Caesar's Casino and a block west of the famous boardwalk. I can tell you right now, it was DELICIOUS!!

My dining companion ordered the fried chicken with macaroni and cheese and 4-green stew (collard, mustard, turnip and cabbage). I had the fried catfish with the same sides. We both ordered the Southwest chicken soup (the soup of the day) and were brought a basket full of some of the best cornbread I've ever had.

When our dinners arrived, our plates were filled to overflowing with food. He said that his chicken was excellent, crispy and juicy. My fish was perfectly done with a light, flaky crust that didn't overpower the fish and allowed the catfish to remain moist and tender. The macaroni and cheese was some of the best I've had in a very long time, cheesy without being purely cheese, yet not straight sauce, either. I don't know that I can describe it adequately. The greens were excellent. I've never had mustard greens before, but there's no way I could tell you if they were in there or not. They all came together as a single unit - not even the cabbage stood out. I would eat this any day over spinach. I did add butter to mine, but I add butter to all vegetables. 

The soup was the most disappointing thing we had. It was mostly broth, not heavily seasoned - really, not much seasoning at all. There wasn't much hint of it being a Southwest recipe except for the strips of crisp tortilla that were laid on top before it was served. At $5.00 per serving, this was the least value for the price that we had. There wasn't very much in the bowl, which was made to look larger than it was - very wide, but also very shallow. The soup wasn't bad, but it could have been much better. They apparently have a different soup every day, though. This was just one of them.

The cornbread was perfect: just the right amount of sweet, moist, easy to eat with or without butter. And, the iced tea - I haven't had tea that tasted homemade since my mother used to make it. They offered sweet tea, but I opted for unsweetened with Sweet-n-Low. Excellent.

Our surroundings were warehouse-like (high ceilings with exposed beams and ductwork), yet modern in all other aspects. Seating was plentiful and a full-service bar on the far side separated by a tasteful acrylic wall divider to minimize the noise exchange. All in all, I had an amazing meal experience. 

We didn't go to gamble, so we returned home by the original road to the shore just for the ride after having gone down on the Atlantic City Expressway. I had originally balked at driving an hour just for dinner, but I'm glad I did. It was a very nice evening.

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