Osteria Cibo Rustico moved into the old Mirko space in the Toco Hills Shopping Center in October '13, and it's...read more →
|My camera was on night setting when I took the exterior shot (at 1pm), so here’s a photo the owner provided to Google.|
I have a confession. I feel like every american food joint on this expedition is a waste of my time. Luckily I sometimes get surprised. And sometimes I don’t.
Anyway, International Cafe was this week’s stop on the BHFE. Unlike BB’s Wings, this place actually had decent reviews online, so I entered the establishment with considerably less dread and more hope than at BB’s. Lauren joined us again this week. (Hooray! I would love for this to just become a rolling get-together.)
This place reminded Adam and I a lot of our old college days at Wingnuts (I won’t link, because it’s just not the same) – it’s clearly mostly takeout and seems to primarily serve wings and fries. The inside also has TVs and seating for watching games, though International Cafe’s interior is more thoughtfully decorated than the Wingnuts of yore. It also serves beer. $2.99 a bottle for domestic, and $3.25 for imported. There are also neon beer signs all over, even horizontal on the ceiling (that was a new one for me), giving the place a little sports bar vibe. There were a lot of live plants, too. Overall, the atmosphere was pleasant.
|See the neon signs on the ceiling? Lol/brainmelt. Something pleasant to look at while laying on the floor.|
The waitstaff was equally pleasant and extremely attentive. We had to practically beat off our waitress while waiting for Lauren to arrive. I will say, however, that attentive service can be taken too far. We were in for lunch, and while the place was not empty, it was not as busy as it must get at other times. However, in my opinion, that’s still no reason to stare at me while I eat. And I don’t mean keep a close eye on me. I mean, she sat on a stool and watched us eat. I could feel the heat of her stare on the side of my face. Any time I succumbed to the natural instinct to look toward the person watching me, she sat up really straight as though I was preparing to summon her, and so I had to turn away quickly and pretend to scratch my nose or something. Maybe I am just too sensitive, but it was mildly annoying. It also made it difficult to sneak pictures and still pretend to be normal, haha.
|Clockwise L2R: Reuben , squash casserole, gravy & rice.|
Well, I think I have procrastinated about discussing the food for as long as was possible. Okay, the food.
We ordered the Reuben (have you noticed that this is a favorite of ours, yet?), which came with squash casserole and rice & gravy for $5.95, ten medium wings and ten lemon pepper wings. Lauren got ten mild wings. Ten-piece wings are all $5.95. And…..the food was lackluster. The Reuben was fine enough, and the squash casserole was surprisingly spicy – in a good way. But everything else was just… eh.
|Medium on the right and lemon pepper front and center.|
The wings were not overly greasy or wet, on the contrary they were a little too dry to support the otherwise pleasantly crunchy outside. I like a nice balance, myself. The lemon peppers tasted okay, but I was thoroughly unimpressed with the flavor profile of the medium wings.
I think Adam summed it up best: “If I had a hankering for wings, and the only place I could get them was the International Cafe, then I would get them. But if I had any other options, I would probably go there first.” That is to say, it wasn’t so awful we’d never go back, just not really remarkable – even at $5.95. We give it 2.5 stars.
3066 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30329