The Albert in Inman
Park is sort of a funny place. It's named after the son of owner Tia
Landau. And there's also some family story involving Albert Einstein.
So the whole place is decorated with images of Einstein, and other
famous Alberts, including the likes of vice president Al Gore, baseball
player Al Kaline and blues musician Albert King. Other than that, the
Albert looks (and drinks and eats) like a fairly typical neighborhood
pub — except that some of the grub is organic, which should give anyone
who remembers the Austin Avenue Buffet cause for a snicker.
CALL ME AL: Yes, the Albert is located in the space formerly
occupied by the Austin Avenue Buffet — a place that dated back to 1941
— and became hip and famous in the '80s as an old man bar, where you
could order bacon and eggs and a beer at 6 a.m., and listen to local
country and "redneck underground" bands play on the weekends. There's
nary a shred of the Buffet's dingy charm left now. Landau, a native New
Yorker and diehard Yankee fan, has transformed the former NASCAR and
PBR shrine into a clean, well-lighted bastion of flat screen TVs,
cocktails and late-night revelry.
ORGANIC OR WHAT? The menu
at the Albert deserves kudos for featuring several organic items. The
only problem is that it's a little hard to figure out exactly what's
what. And the servers aren't much help in that regard. The Applegate
Farms organic hot dog, made from grass-fed and finished beef, is a
winner — especially for $3. It comes nicely grilled on a Masada Bakery
wheat bun, with a choice of onions, sweet pickle relish and tangy
coleslaw. The burger is pretty good too, though, without a brand name,
it's hard to know precisely what "all-natural beef" means. Ditto the
"all-natural" turkey burger and "free-range" grilled chicken sandwich.
Other sandwich choices include crab cake, grilled salmon, portobello
and PB&J, made with organic peanut butter and fruit preserves. The
kids menu has the ubiquitous chicken fingers, grilled cheese and
steamed or grilled veggies.
BEER, SWEETS, BRUNCH: For a pub-style spot, the beer list at the
Albert is rather dismal; Guinness and Paulaner on draft and Sierra
Nevada in the bottle are as exotic as it gets. Fans of Metrotainment
Bakery sweets will find a whole case full of cakes, pies and pastries
on display in the dining room, near the open kitchen. And 11 a.m.-4
p.m. on weekends, the Albert serves brunch.
Published on: 10/18/2007