This past week I had to be in Atlanta for work, which gave me a great opportunity to see my friend Jen who I had not seen in person for about a year and was also there for work. We decided to meet on Saturday and put together what was to be a great weekend.
On Saturday evening we went to see Amy Schumer at the Philips Arena, which she filled at a 15,000 person capacity. Isn’t that crazy! She was vividly raunchy, got (I think) a bit too political, which she made no apologies for and was honestly so funny I nearly peed myself. She is extremely talented if you can handle the overuse of the P word.
For our Sunday brunch Jen found a place called Poor Calvin’s, located in a small neighborhood on Piedmont Ave. Walking into Poor Calvin’s causes a small state of confusion. It feels like a classic Southern, cozy restaurant but once you start to look around you find yourself staring at Asian art and artifacts. Welcome to something I can honestly say I have never tried before, Asian fusion, Southern Fare. It was going to be a brunch adventure.
Upon arrival we were greeted by excitedly exuberant staff. The energy of our waiter was truly a lot of fun and a lot to take. We needed alcohol but sadly had to wait until GA serving time on Sundays of 12.30pm. In all honesty, we absolutely loved her enthusiasm and by the end of our brunch her peppiness set us up for a great afternoon. She coined her own phrases and literally wore the t-shirt.
Looking at the menu was not overwhelming but more one of puzzlement. I had no idea if curry mustard went with fried goat cheese or crab cake, but I was sure going to try something a little different. Before major decisions were made though we absolutely had to have the Beignet Basket. Absurdly good bites of warm fried dough with sweet creamy mascarpone and mild goat cheese lent itself perfectly to berry compote. Forget the calories if you find yourself in Poor Calvin’s and just order them!
It was finally 12.30pm and brunch cocktails beckoned us with bubbly Mimosa for me and the Passion Fruit Frozen Margarita for Jen. Both were delicious.
Perusing the broader brunch menu became a little easier with cocktails but want on earth did we want. With choices of Seafood Omelet with Japanese Mayo, Shrimp Lo Mein, Crab Meat Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Shrimp, Cajun Sausage & Cheese Grits to name a few. This was no traditional American brunch menu.
I decided on a familiar with a twist. An awe inspiring Egg Benedict with chunks of sweet lump crab cake, a perfectly poached egg piled high and sitting on top of creamy kale mashed potato, raining with salty stringy fries and a simple amount of hollandaise.
Jen picked the Crab Meat Grilled Cheese, which is a giant toasted sandwich bursting with cheesy goodness and crab meat paired with curly fries and a side of almost patronizing fruit salad.
Neither of us managed to finish our dishes but both of us were as happy as fried Southern clams.
Chef Calvin Phan has created something truly special and unique here. This place is a mut visit for locals and visitors to Atlanta.