When I visit family in Mississippi, I look forward to the return layover in Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport for a single, compelling reason. America’s busiest airport is home to One Flew South and its travel-inspired menu. Last Sunday, I made the now-familiar stop, en route to Europe. Last trip, I tried sushi. This time, I sampled the restaurant’s most popular menu item: pork belly sliders.
Chef Duane Nutter’s sliders are served as appetizers, just the right sized plate for a pre-flight dose of southern flavors. Cubes of premium pork belly, juicy-inside, crisp-blackened outside, were layered into miniature buns with sweet cabbage slaw and topped with a crinkle-cut dill pickle slice. Hand-cut sweet potato chips were served alongside. The chips are made in-house, while the pork comes from a three-day stint in the roasting pits of Rolling Bones, an Atlanta BBQ stalwart co-owned by Chef Nutter.
I had a chance to speak briefly with the chef, who mentioned two items added to the menu since my last visit: bangers and mash, made with lamb Merguez sausage and cabbage braised with mustard and mint; and lamb ragout with garganelli pasta.At the table adjacent to mine, a music manager headed home to Madrid from SXSW in Austin, Texas, tucked into a serving of the ragout, pronouncing the dish flavorful and hearty. Made with border springs lamb, shitake mushrooms, peas, carrots and ricotta salata cheese, it did look inviting. Next time, perhaps.
Last Friday, Chef Nutter helmed the stove at a private fundraiser, part of the goings-on feting President Obama on a campaign swing through Atlanta. The appetizers on offer for that event included pork belly sliders.
I hope the president enjoyed his taste of One Flew South as much as I did!