A couple of weeks back, Adam and I drove the length of Buford Highway that we’ve covered so far to take stock of various openings, closings, and spots we flat-out just missed. Approaching the northern end of our reach, we noticed that a new joint had moved into the empty space on the end of the shopping center that houses Woo Nam Jeong and Man Chun Hong. It’s called A-Priori Seafood, and a quick jaunt through Yelp revealed several reviews and a solid 5 star rating. Well alrighty, then. In we go!
We’d never been to the sushi joint that was here before, so the interior of this place really surprised us. It really doesn’t fit in with most of what you find on Buford Highway. That’s not a bad thing, nice things are nice, it was just surprising. Apparently, it looks much the same as it used to, with a some new light decorating.
The waitress (owner?) was wearing a uniform, also a surprise, and politely seated us along the windows that overlook Red and Green and Sushi House Hayakawa. In pretty short order she brought out a bowl of marinara sauce with ricotta and some breadsticks. These were really nothing special…
I should probably stop here and tell you about Fried Chicken Lips. One of the funniest dang food blogs there ever was, centered right here in Atlanta. You see, he beat us to the punch with A-Priori and it’s really so hard to tell you about my experience from my own perspective, because he absolutely nailed it first. So, do check out his hilarious, profane, and spot-on post here. Now, as FCL points out, the bread is quite certainly pre-frozen and they gave us so much of it… and a giant bowl of marinara we hardly touched. Freebies are great and all, but these were incongruous and didn’t add to the experience.
We were also gifted with clam-based freebies (I missed the exact name of the thing), which seemed more appropriate and pleased me more. It seems they give them out to everyone, so that did make it seem less special, but hey that’s life. In the end I’m just another mark to the restauranteurs, and it’s all fair. Moving along.
We were given the run-down of the daily specials and we jumped on octopus chorizo, even though the thought briefly reminded me of the tuna sausage I had at Saint Cecelia which I was not overly fond of.
Turns out, it was really more like grilled octopus and chorizo. Well, it was exactly that, which turned out to be yummy but just wasn’t what the title implies. The octopus was nicely-cooked, the little chorizo squares were succulent and the sauce tied the whole thing together. I enjoyed it a lot. Looking back, I think it was the best thing we had!
After perusing the menu an awful lot, I settled on the seafood risotto ($25) and Adam the fish and chips ($17).
Adam found himself with a little bit of buyer’s remorse over his fish and chips, but I thought they were pretty good. It wasn’t overly greasy, and while it was fall-aparty that seemed forgivable. The chips were actual chips instead of the traditional fries – which is actually preferable to me and strikes me as somewhat delightful for it to literally be chips. They seemed like they were homemade, which is sort of weird when you think about the frozen breadsticks. Overall, the fish and chips were fine, though we probably would have been happier if they were more like $13.
Now, this risotto. I’d like to note that the esteemed Fried Chicken Lips ordered the seafood paella and has stated that it was not really a paella. Two weeks previously, I ordered the seafood risotto and thought to myself, “This doesn’t really seem like a risotto.” Based on our photos, I feel confident we each got the same dish, and that that dish is seemingly neither a paella nor a risotto. I’m no gourmet chef, but it’s my understanding that risotto is a high starch rice cooked until it has a creamy consistency. This is not the same as putting cooked rice in a creamy sauce. It was an unobjectionable meal and I always enjoy seafood but for $25 I certainly got suckered, whether it be a paella or a risotto.
We didn’t order any dessert, but I was surprised that they had a separate dessert menu even at lunch. I also overheard from a neighboring table that there aren’t any kids’ items on the menu, so prepare to plunk down $17 for the fish and chips if you come in with hungry young-uns.
Overall, we found A-Priori to be a bit baffling. It was both nicer and not as nice as we expected. Everyone seemed very friendly and professional, to the point where I almost feel guilty for not liking it better. 2.5 stars.
5953 Buford Highway NE
Doraville, GA 30340