Wahoo! Grill in Decatur is another one of those restaurants that has been on my radar for quite a while, but I had never made it there. That is, until a recent visit this past weekend. Glen and I had a date night. I gave him a couple choices of restaurants I wanted to try and he picked Wahoo! Grill. I think he was a little disappointed to know that it wasn’t in the Decatur Square as he was looking forward to walking around there.
Wahoo! is pretty difficult to find as it seems pretty far off of the beaten path. Not only that, but it isn’t a pretty sight from the outside. Given all of this, you would think there is no need for valet parking right? Wrong. Unless you are one of about 15 -20 cars to snag a spot on one of the two side streets you will need to valet.
We got the last side street parking spot, and Glen (an Atlanta native) was able to demonstrate his parallel parking prowess. But, on to the restaurant. We walked in, and were seated right away, (thanks, call-ahead seating). Wahoo’s policy is not to take reservations for small parties but they do allow call-ahead seating. Actually, the place wasn’t busy at all, so I’m sure we could have just walked in and been fine.
The layout of the restaurant is kind of interesting as they have 3 different seating areas. The main restaurant seating is the most boring. It is small wood tables which give a view to the open kitchen. Nothing exciting about that. If you go, get a seat on the enclosed patio. It was a brick floor with views of outdoors and the outdoor patio. When the weather is nice, definitely sit outside on the patio – very quaint and charming. On my visit it was a bit too cold for that.
While I did like the look of the enclosed patio, I did find it pretty noisy. There was one especially loud group in close proximity to my table. Wahoo! is better for a small group 4 to 6 people than for couples. So, our waiter, although very pleasant, was a bit of a low talker. So, we had to strain to hear him over the boisterous groups nearby.
For appetizers, I was torn between the calamari and the bbq shrimp which I heard was so good. Our waiter convinced us to try Wahoo’s calamari, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was a perfect blend of sweet and spicy with the hoison sauce and pepper that was blended together. And, the portion was perfect for sharing.
I went with the signature dish, Wahoo, which comes in medallions and is supposed to be similar to Swordfish. There were a couple specials on the menu that night: some sort of pasta and a fish called Hebe, which our waiter described as a sweet tasting Hawaiian fish. Glen opted for that as it was supposed to come in a thai sauce.
It was quite a while from when our appetizer and rolls were finished before we got our meals. Perhaps the kitchen was backed up. I sipped on my waiter-recommended Californian Pinot Noir while waiting for our meals. They do have a good selection of wines by the glass (all between $7 and $11.50), but I should have followed my instinct and gotten the Chilean Cabernet which I think I would have enjoyed a bit more.
So, we finally got our entrees and eagerly dug in. Immediately, I could tell my fish was overcooked. It just had that kind of dried out taste to it. I kept trying to sop up the pomegranite sauce to mitigate the dryness. Glen thought his Hebe fish was ok, but nothing woohoo about it. He also commented that there wasn’t anything thai about it either. The side of veggies that came with the meals was pretty bland and unexciting.
We finished our meals and asked for the check. I had heard the coconut cake was not to be missed. But after the mediocre meals, we just decided to leave without sampling any desserts. The prices seem pretty reasonable with the most expensive entree being about $17, so I was surprised to see that the Glen’s special was $24. Definitely not worth the price. Why do restaurants tell you the specials but not the price of the specials? I hate having to ask, as it makes me feel cheap.
However, we were able to get out of there with an appetizer, 1 glass of wine, and 2 entrees for around $60, which is fair. The bottom line: If you live not too far and are looking for something a little different from the norm than it may be worth checking out. But don’t drive out of you way to visit Wahoo!
1042 West College Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030