earlier this month we finally got around to resurrecting nrw after a brief hiatus and kicked things back off at the imperial in decatur. eric, claire, kari, phillip, and i met up at this local spot after being inspired by good day atlanta’s coverage of the restaurant during atlanta burger week. buck langford was lucky enough to get to meet with owner aj and try the winning mac attack burger live on camera, and it was then i knew we just had to be there.
the imperial is located in what appears to be a somewhat tucked away and quiet part of town, but when we actually got to the restaurant, it was quite alive with customers of all kinds, from families with kiddos and dogs to singles enjoying half-priced bottles of wine to friends just catching up over good food. it really feels like a “come as you are” place.
our group was seated just inside the main entrance, which gave us a great view of each other and our surroundings. the imperial is nice and open both inside and out on its patio. the bar is well-stocked and would be a perfect place to belly-up for a beer, some eats, and tv watching.
after being served a few pints of local drafts, the poutine eric and claire ordered for the table arrived. now, i don’t know about you, but i’ve never in my life heard of poutine, and to the ears it first sounds like maybe a fancy french dish, right? wrong, lol! no joke, i looked up what poutine is and the definition i found was “a dish of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.” not so fancy after all! 😀 however, a dish doesn’t have to be fancy to be delicious, and that could not have been more true of the imperial’s take on this dish. their poutine actually has pimento cheese in place of cheese curds because, you know, in the south pimento cheese is quite the staple. and our order of poutine was even more delectable because we opted to add the diced up bacon because if you’re going to be bad, why not go all the way?
in fact, eric and claire were so happy with the poutine that they ranked it first out of everything they ate that night! in their words it was simply “AMAZING.”
we hungry kids scarfed up that poutine in no time, leaving some room for our actual dinners. making the rounds, we’ll start with kari who ordered the plain burger and topped it with cheddar cheese and bacon. as far as a basic burger goes, she said it was very good and a “SOLID” choice for those of you who prefer to build your own burger. all in all, she enjoyed a great meal that night.
up next were claire and eric who shared the charred broccoli salad and mushroom philly sandwich. the salad had great big broccoli florets, nice flavors, and yummy beets. as for the sandwich it was very cheesy and the entire thing was eaten, but it could have used more seasonings and more mushrooms.
to my right phillip ordered and demolished the southern dog with pimento cheese and bacon. it was delicious and a great way to continue the poutine-topping trend. phillip’s side was the sweet potato fries, which i also had with my meal. we both liked them just fine but agreed that they needed a little some extra. maybe more seasoning? maybe a dipping sauce? and although we gladly still munched on them between bites, there was something that seemed to be missing.
and last but not least, it was the mac attack and me. now, before i tell you about this burger, i need you see that this was phillip’s face when i was served my meal.
the reason his face looked like this was because this is what my burger was! a beef patty atop a deep-fried mac’n’cheese patty with melted gouda sauce, lettuce, tomato, and bacon. jeah!
as previously mentioned, the mac attack was featured on good day atlanta when buck langford gave it a try himself next to owner aj. i was worried when i first looked at the menu because i didn’t see it listed. however, after asking our waitress if it was available, she and owner aj confirmed it was a specialty, off-menu item and that they would be happy to make one up for me, no problem at all. how cool!
after giving the burger a good smoosh down, i grabbed it with both hands and let phillip catch my very won “buck bite” on camera.
this burger was luckily everything i had hoped and wanted it to be. every bite i took had a bit of each ingredient, which is really what makes a good burger great in my opinion. the creamy mac’n’cheese and melted gouda were irresistible with the flavorful and well-cooked meat patty. i was able to get about halfway through the burger before i had to put it down and call it because although i wanted to finish every last delicious morsel, the poutine and sweet potato fries had me feeling full earlier than i would have preferred. but, if i may quote phillip who had a few bites of the mac attack after i had thrown in the towel, it was “effing awesome!”
well, i’d say that all around our crew really enjoyed our dinner at the imperial. the staff was kind, the drinks were cold, and the food was filling. what more could you want? well, i maybe want more mac attack, so if anyone else wants to give the imperial a try, let me know and i’ll gladly crash the party with you. 🙂