Sauced, Ria Pell’s new fusion soul food venture in Inman Park Atlanta, has been motoring along for several months. Though the restaurant came up for a brief breath of air in 2009, it actually opened for real in early 2010. Soon after, Spark Plug and I made it the appetizer stop on one of our habitual dinning excursions. Though it’s taken me a while to recap the less than stellar experience, ATLiens have been treated to several reviews during my hiatus thanks to some of our mainstream media brethren (linkage at the bottom). It seems I’m not alone in my total lack of fandom for Sauced.
Sauced itself is Pell’s attempt to offer entry-level fine dining. After building up her eponymous Ria’s Bluebird to the point where it’s one of the more well-known breakfast places, Pell is now serving "inspired” soul food in the midst of a late 60’s-esc dinning hall. I use the words inspired here loosely because the only true inspiration seems to be coming from the servers. In the world of take it or leave it, this grub is definitely a leave it. To put it another way, it’s never a good thing when someone spends the first part of a review talking about something other than the atmosphere or the food itself. In the case of Meridith Ford Goldman, she talked about the bathrooms. Not a good sign.