I first knew Tyler Jones when he was sitting a few rows away from me as I played the organ at Central Baptist Church. His parents, his grandparents, his aunt and his cousin were all members there, and Tyler was a few years younger than the Pearson kids. Now, I’m getting to know him again through his business success as an adult.
Tyler — now all grown up – owns two restaurants in Decatur. One is about a block from the Princess Theater on 2nd Avenue, and the other is on Grant St., across 6th Avenue from the old Central Baptist location. Both businesses have been successful restaurants in the past, but now they have new names and new vibes.
The Railyard, at 209 2nd Ave., is open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. SEVEN DAYS A WEEK for lunch and dinner. Whisk’D, at 1051 Grant St., is open from 6:00 a.m. to noon SEVEN DAYS A WEEK for breakfast and brunch. Imagine the commitment that those hours represent!
Chef Bill Harden – who is the culinary wizard behind both restaurants – describes his cuisine as Southern, farm-to-fork, seasonal comfort food. But, from what I can tell from the menus of both, there is a whole lot of creativity involved with plenty of surprises for the diners who choose to eat at either place.
The Railyard has something of a tavern atmosphere with a hefty selection of wines, beers and mixed drinks, but the food menu offers a large variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, small plates/skillets, large plates and BURGERS!! There are 9 different burgers listed along with a Build-Your-Own Burger and an impressive selection of toppings. The large plates range from quail to pork schnitzel to prime rib with several great-sounding seafood choices in between.
Steve and I met some friends there for Sunday brunch recently. Here are several of our plates:
Whisk’D is in the location which previously housed Albany Bistro. The brick walls, floors, fireplace and chandeliers are the same, but the whole “feel” is different. It has more of a neighborhood, “let’s get together” look. There are long tables obviously designed to be shared or for a group to use. Diners walk up to the counter in the back to place an order, then have a seat and everything else is served in a timely and efficient manner. We especially enjoyed the art depicting many well-known symbols and icons of Decatur.
When Steve and I ate there for breakfast recently, he chose the Wagyu Chili Omelet, and I had the Banana Bread French Toast, both were served with fried potatoes and a bowl of fresh-cut fruit. However, we could have had more traditional breakfast items such as biscuits, eggs, sausage, fried chicken or waffles. I believe you’ll like the selections and the very reasonable prices.
There is very little parking near Whisk’D, but you can park along both sides of Grant St. as long as you don’t block anyone’s driveway. It was actually fun to see so many people walking to Whisk’D from their homes. It’s definitely a neighborly place.
Try both places and let me know what you had that was good. I’ve got several items that I’m dying to try on my next visit.