Thanks to my lovely roommate, The Lady Nerd, my husband and I were invited to “Friends and Family Weekend” of Atlanta’s newest geek-based bar and restaurant, My Parents’ Basement. For those new to the party, the bar’s website describes the location as a “neighborhood eatery started by three friends who love beer, thoughtful food and comic books and have a heroic desire to give Avondale Estates an original, delicious beer bar and an epic comic book store”.
I will admit when I heard that they had set up shop in what used to be the James Joyce Pub, I was skeptical. The Avondale Estates area has been in a bit of a slump in recent years. However, popular spots like Palookaville have been turning things around and attracting more business to the neighborhood. With the experience we had at this new bar’s brunch on Sunday, I’d say that My Parents’ Basement has the potential to be strong and successful as a gathering place for the local geek community. Today I’m going to give a little preview of what to expect when the doors officially open tomorrow, August 12th.
When you first enter My Parents’ Basement, you are greeted by an aesthetic I’d best describe as Old World meets Chic Geek. The owners kept the James Joyce’s bar and updated it with Mario Bros adorned chalkboards, framed comic books, and arcade games. Most notable, they’ve added a comic book shop with a rather decent selection, which is definitely nice to browse through while waiting for a table.
Now notice how I said the word “brunch”. That’s right, My Parents’ Basement will have brunch on Saturday and Sunday morning to mid-afternoon. The locally sourced menu includes fun creations such as Pimentoad In The Hole (pullman toast with pimento cheese and eggs baked into it, sunny-side up), Chicken-In-Waffles (waffles with fried chicken strips cooked inside of them, topped with maple syrup and mustard seeds), and the Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich (pine street bacon, egg, cheddar cheese, and maple syrup). It’s clear that the owners and kitchen staff put a lot of thought into their food because everything was delicious.
One thing you must have, if nothing else, is the Pimento Cheese Grits. This side of mouth watering delight is creamy, dreamy, cheesy, with a gentle kick of spice to be, in my book, better than anything you can get at Flying Biscuit. The best part about them? They were good on top of EVERYTHING. With the grits my waffles weren’t waffles, they were thirty-two squares of coma-inducing happiness with little pops of mustard. The Pimentoad in the Hole became the Pimen-Hypno-Toad of ALL GLORY TO THE CHEESE GRITS. My friends wouldn’t let my try it on their sandwiches, but I’m sure if I did, I would be seeing the smiling face of the Pimento-Cheese god.
I didn’t have a chance to sample their beer menu. Brunch did not disappoint with their cocktails, however. Most notable was the Beermosa (exactly what you think it is) made with Second Self’s Thai Wheat. It was sunny and refreshing, with just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of ginger and coriander. Another tasty option was their Bloody Mary that was nice and spicy without too much heat, like gazpacho in a glass. We were told that the drink will also be served with celery and a touch of bacon fat, because everything really is better with bacon.
Of course, brunch is not the only thing you can look forward to at My Parents’ Basement. I also had a chance to look at the regular menu and am already looking forward to trying a number of items including the Toasted CBJB (cashew butter, strawberry jelly, and bacon), the Wild Mushroom Grinder (with creme fraiche and arugula), and House Made Hot Pockets. The staff are all friendly and more than happy to let their nerd side show whether through their fun geek fashion choices or through casual conversations about their favorite fandom. Yet through the entire two hours I was there they did not once lose their sense of professionalism, get distracted, or decline in their attentiveness to their customers. Speaking with several staff members, I learned that they really would like to build up and be a part of the Atlanta geek scene and community, and are open to any ideas of getting involved. What really struck me this weekend was how they sincerely wanted feedback on how to improve and were completely open to suggestions. It takes a lot of guts to be open to even constructive criticism and I respect that.
So there it is, a small glimpse of what to expect in this haven for the grown-up geek. Come for the food and beer, stay for the company and comics. and bask in the glory of the pimento cheese grits.