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October 10, 2012

Bye Bye, Bocado, Hello Deli !

As Chef Ginsberg exits Bocado, we hail the toque who made sandwiches so damn sexy and the burger a cult dish

By Nancy Staab

  • Photos via; burger photo courtesy of

THIS JUST IN:  Chef Todd Ginsberg exits Bocado with a celebratory $3 deal on his famed burger-stack Wed. Oct. 17. with West Egg Café’s upcoming Jewish Deli, General Muir, in Decatur his new stomping ground.

sweetbreads with poached egg, grits, truffle-Madeira sauce: Chef Ginsberg; Brussels sprouts with thyme, lemon, Parmesan. sweetbreads with poached egg, grits, truffle-Madeira sauce: Chef Ginsberg; Brussels sprouts with thyme, lemon, Parmesan.

It’s with a crestfallen heart that we announce that Chef Todd Ginsberg is officially departing Bocado, the white-hot eatery in Westside with raging lunch service and one of the most famous burgers in town. Ginsberg’s Bocado Burger Stack : double patties with American cheese and house-made pickles is the stuff of local legend. But we were just as enchanted with his other, equally sexy and inventive sandwiches that made Bocado’s lunch service always buzzing : the vegetarian roasted cauliflowers with Chinese and Thai eggplant, cilantro and spicy mayo; the decadent roasted poblano and pimento cheese sandwich with bacon and fried green tomato plus spicy sauce that rivaled his burger in popularity; and our fave-- the European Le Picnic treat of prosciutto, brie, argula, fig jam, butter and sea salt on a crusty-chewy baguette. Just eating this delectable sammie might make you a bit French (or Italian).  We contend that Chef Ginsberg has done more to make sandwiches sexy in Atlanta than any other toque in town. And the cocktail program under mixologist David Durnell has always been stellar.

Bocado's famed Burger Stack Bocado's famed Burger Stack

But let’s not overlook Ginsberg’s seasonal and creative dinner service with stellar entrees like braised pork shank with African butternut squash agnolotti and red-wine poached lady apples; roasted Brussels sprouts with thyme, lemon, capers, croutons and Parmesan; or sweetbreads with poached eggs, grits and truffle-Madeira sauce (see photos above, courtesy of Bocado owner Brian Lewis states “Though I am sad to see Todd go, we have been friends for the past three years, enjoying the success of Bocado, and we will remain good friends.” Bocado’s chef de cuisine Adam Waller (formerly of Sotto Sotto) will step up in Ginsberg’s place at Bocado in the interim.

The C.I.A-trained and Star Chef winning Chef Ginsberg, who has cut his teeth at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, TAP and Trois, will no doubt bring major culinary finesse to the proposed Jewish deli, General Muir, where he will land next. The brain-child of the extremely popular West Egg Café team, Jennifer and Ben Johnson. General Muir is slated to open in Decatur at Emory Point in late 2012. The name comes from the refugee ship that delivered Holocaust survivors, including West Egg Café’ owner Jennifer Johnson’s mother, to the U.S. Several Facebook postings on the General Muir page, reprinted directly below, provide clues to the tasty treats we might expect in the future like home-made pastrami, matzoh ball soup and luscious rugelachs:

"Although primarily influenced by German and Eastern European traditions, deli food does not have a single old-world place of origin. Instead, it is a cuisine of the diaspora: varied old-world Jewish food traditions grafted together and onto a new-world food supply and culture. Its true birthplace is New York's Lower East Side, where hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Jewish immigrants settled from the late 1800s through the end of World War II. While we have visited it many times, this last trip we took our team specifically with deli in mind: pastrami and corned beef at Katz's, smoked fish and bagels at Russ & Daughters, knishes at Yonah Schimmel. We went on to taste pastrami, bagels and matzoh ball soup all over town. Tough job, isn't it?"---General Muir

"Making dough and fillings for 500 rugelach for next Sunday at Taste of Atlanta (on Saturday we'll be there as West Egg Cafe)! We'll have our version of traditional (apricot-raisin-pecan) and then some seasonal variations, like pumpkin-cranberry and caramel apple. If you've never had a rugelach before, think of it as a cookie made with pie dough (made with butter and cream cheese) wrapped like a croissant around delicious fillings!" --General Muir

 In the meantime, join Bocado and Chef Ginsberg for one last hurrah Wed. Oct. 17, from 5:30PM to close for a special $3 Bocado Burger Stack.