January 20, 2013
Eat This: A Preview of the Wicked-Good Sandwiches Coming Soon to Villains
Get a taste of the inventive combos coming to Villains sandwich shop next month with this 1-day pop-up preview Mon. Jan. 21
By Nancy Staab
Cruzado, the under-the radar new Latin American eatery in the residential portion of Midtown hosts a one-day-only, pop-up lunch/dinner by Villains for MLK Day.
With a killer name like Villains and a trifecta team of young-guns like Jared Lee Pyles (HD1, Flip Burger, Woodfire Grill, Kyma) Alex Bounstein (Grindhouse Burgers) and Jason McClure (HD1 and Flip), this upcoming Atlanta sandwich shop has already garnered a slew of local press ink and it hasn’t even opened yet. The concept behind Villains was to go rogue with sandwiches and really take them beyond boring predictability between two pieces of bread. Indeed, these sandwiches are daring if not slightly illegal. The name comes from a play on the Northern slang for sandwiches, or “heroes.” Get it? And these bad boy sammies range all over the globe in terms of their flavor inspirations and profiles. Think: Kingpig of Crime (roast stuffed pork belly i.e. porchetta, sautéed kale, garlic aoli); Rasputin (Fried chicken livers, blood orange); or Megatron (breaded pork katsu, shredded cabbage, star anise pickled radish, stinger sauce). A past offering was the “Odd Job:” KFC (Korean Fried Chicken), pear slaw, Samjung chili sauce, black garlic aioli. These are robust, manly sandwiches with gutsy ingredients! And if all that clever word-play sounds familiar, keep in mind that two of the Villains trio cut their teeth under master punster Richard Blais and his culinary creativity.
To a large degree, team Villains are doing with sandwiches what Blais did to the burger and hot dog. Creatively riffing on the whole concept. Indeed, if you take away Victory Sandwich Bar, the Star Provisions counter or Bocado, there’s a dearth of local restos offering great dining options between two buns. Villains is slated to open in the heart of Midtown next month, just opposite of Vortex. In addition to the sandwiches, which will be available to eat-in or take on-the-go, the team will also offer “Henchman” i.e. seasonal changing sides like “Hail Nero” (kale salad, white miso, Thai chili), “Disco Volante” vegetarian chicharonnes, gutsy blood bread pudding, or Cabbage Jack soup with crispy pork skin and blood orange, to name a few of the always-rotating options. The Villains dudes may even reprise the gourmet- flavored popcorns like the popular ramen popcorn that they served at their first pop-up last fall at Miso Izakaya.
As per the practices of this new breed of chefs: nearly everything is house-made from the 3-week aged pastrami to the beverages. Custom breads like a pumpernickel ciabatta are crafted by Bread Garden. Far from just a lunch spot, Villains will also spin out solid dinner plates at night, which Pyles describes as a chance for the team to stretch their culinary muscles and inventiveness. For example, one of the pop-up dinners on the menu for tomorrow is a fun play on “Turducken:” Cajun roast turkey and fried chicken livers smothered in duck “debris” gravy. There will also be late-night dining options when the shop opens, and they hope to add delivery, themed t-shirts and perhaps even a food cart—the works—in the future.
Cruazado, the new Latin American spot in the former Las Palmeras space, Midtown, has kindly offered to host this second Villains pop-up. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Pyles is currently serving as executive and consulting chef at the Latin American resto/sexy small-plates lounge. More on the fabulous Latin American soul food at this popular underground spot to come later on LuxeCrush. (Pyles will continue his role as consulting chef at Cruzado after Villains opens). In the meantime, we suggest all food lovers and adventurous sandwich slayers cruise over to Cruazado Monday Jan. 21 to sample these bad boys (the chef and sandwiches!).
The Villains pop-up will offer lunch from 11AM to 4PM and $15 Meat +3 Dinners from 5-10PM at Cruzado on Monday, Jan. 21. Cruzado is located at 366 5th Street at Durant, in the residential part of Midtown. Cash and Credit cards accepted.
FULL POP-UP VILLAINS MENU BELOW: