Food Review | 10th & Piedmont deserves a second visit

Grade: A-
Verdict: 10th & Piedmont has a casual-yet-posh atmosphere and great food, but will leave you wanting more.

When you walk into 10th & Piedmont at dinnertime, you’re immediately struck by the chic, calm ambiance and contemporary interior design. The recently revamped menu features a variety of food from shrimp and scallop nachos, to filet mignon, to a classic burger, hinting that everyone is guaranteed to find something they enjoy.

The bocadillo, a sandwich composed of shredded pork, arugula, asiago cheese and tomato marmalade, is cut into four, making it perfect for sharing. What makes this dish stand out, though, is the kick of wholegrain mustard.

Also perfect for sharing is the restaurant’s take on chicken and waffles. Instead of Belgian waffles with a side of fried chicken, 10th & Piedmont serves up battered chicken on a skewer that looks like a corn dog. The “waffle” outer is crispy and sweet, and the chicken inside has a smoky flavor that feels like a serious meal. The pseudo-corn dogs come with three dipping options to be mixed and matched as desired: syrup, powdered sugar and hot sauce.

10th & Piedmont challenges expectations once again with its play on shrimp and grits. The “shrimp on grits” consists of seared juicy shrimp presented on a cake made of grits. The outside of the cake is firm, but the inside is the smooth Southern grits everyone knows and loves.

The wild mushroom ravioli was a crowd-pleaser, even to me, who is not the biggest fan of mushrooms. The ravioli is filled with spinach and mushrooms and sits in a generous helping of cream sauce with multiple types of wild mushrooms on top. The dish was definitely created with mushroom-lovers in mind.

The icing on the proverbial cake came as a chocolate soufflé with crème anglaise. Made fresh-to-order in 17 minutes, the soufflé can be enjoyed with the cream either poured into the piping hot interior or as a dip for each individual bite. The richness of the chocolate is balanced nicely by the lightness of the cream.

The food is served quickly and employees are genuinely attentive to customers’ needs, which makes up for the dim lighting. However, the portions aren’t as hefty as what’s expected from your neighborhood sit-down place. The majority of the prices won’t break a student’s bank and there’s no lack of flavor here. At the end of the day, 10th & Piedmont is a great choice for a more mature chill night out with friends.

*This review originally appeared in the Arts & Living section of The Signal on Nov. 12, 2013.*

When ‘hello’ becomes harassment

Many people are unaware that what they’ve faced or what they’ve done is a form of street harassment. Almost every woman or member of the LGBTQIQA community has a drawerful of street harassment stories. Let me be clear about what I mean when I say “street harassment:” I don’t mean a single smile or “hello” directed at a stranger (this is the South, after all). I mean going out of your way to make sure someone is aware of your presence and that you are paying attention to them.

Street harassment is always unwarranted and unwanted, regardless of someone’s attire or what time of day it is. Here’s one of my personal accounts:

Last summer, I was walking home from a hair appointment and decided to stop at Burger King. I was leaving the parking lot, maybe two blocks away from home (a big deal in the ‘burbs). A man in a white car pulled up beside me to see how I was doing and asking for my name and number. I said “No, thank you” and sped up. Five hundred feet later, the same man pulled up, closer this time, trying to convince me to give him my number because that was supposedly “all [he] wanted.” I ignored him and practically ran into the yard of a nearby house, where I knew he wouldn’t be able to follow me. In that moment, I thought, which of these houses can I find safety in? What if no one’s home? What if he gets out of his car? How can I defend myself?

That is street harassment.

Although this incident was not physical, street harassment can go that far. It can be as simple as requesting that someone “give you a smile” or commenting on someone’s body for them to hear you. It can be as extreme as making a physical pass at someone or touching yourself when an “attractive” person is in your vicinity.

If someone continues to speak to you or approach you after you’ve made it clear that you are uninterested, that’s harassment. If someone calls a slur out at you, that’s street harassment. If you call someone an expletive after they’ve denied your out-of-the-blue pass at them, that’s harassment. If someone grabs you to tell you how great you look today, that’s harassment. If you tell someone how great of a time you can show them in the bedroom or elsewhere, that’s harassment. If you comment on someone’s perceived sexual preference or gender identity (i.e. “Is that a girl or a boy?”), that’s harassment.

Be aware of what street harassment is so that you’re not a part of it and can help stop it. When you ask a woman to smile and she refuses to or ignores you, don’t call her a bitch. You might be the fifth person that day to make her feel uncomfortable when she’s just trying to get where she’s going. And even if you’re not, no one is required to comply with the requests made of them by people on the street. Street harassment is not a compliment; it’s an invasion of someone’s privacy.

*This article originally appeared in the Opinions section of The Signal on Nov. 5, 2013.*