Very few things are effortlessly cool. Leather jackets, drinking whiskey neat, and Han Solo, probably. Usually, however, it actually takes a lot of effort to be cool. And that’s where the effort is going at Leon’s Full Service.
For instance, the bar at this Decatur spot is built out of vintage wood and exposed metal, and you can see some of the original signage on the wall behind the bar from the gas station that Leon’s is located inside. Drinks-wise, they serve really good cocktails that are made with interesting ingredients, like kumquat, tomatillo shrub, and lemongrass. If you’re someone who has trouble sitting still, there’s also a bocce ball court next to the patio outside. Overall, like we said, Leon’s is cool. They even sell t-shirts with their logo that you’d want to wear.
Where the effort isn’t going, however, is into the food and unfortunately, reading the menu and imagining the food is a better experience than actually eating it. The poutine, for example, sounds great. It’s topped with brisket, foie gras hollandaise, cheese curds, and a sunny side egg. In theory, this is a good idea. But when the fries are soggy, the egg is overcooked, and the brisket is stringy and tough, it loses its appeal pretty quickly. A few other things on the menu have similar stories to tell, but unfortunately they’re the kind of stories that makes you wonder why you spent money to hear it.
Leon’s Full Service is still a fun spot to meet up with a group of friends, hang out on the patio, and have a few drinks. And if someone gets hungry, they’d be safe ordering a snack, like the bacon in a glass or the hummus. Just maybe go somewhere else for dinner.
Fries topped with brisket, cheese curds, a sunny side egg, and foie gras hollandaise sauce. Great in theory, poor in execution.
The duck breast itself is great, but when surrounded by a smoked beet puree, roasted red cabbage, and a cilantro-kumquat salad, the end result is a little bitter, and not worth the $28 dollar price tag.
The shrimp in green curry over grits is a shining beacon of hope on the menu. This is what you should get if you do end up eating a full meal here.
This large piece of sausage comes with chunks of braised daikon radish, roasted fennel, a pistachio-chickpea puree, and pickled mustard seeds. The radish is bland and feels a little out of place, but the mustard seeds are a nice touch.
Topped with mushrooms, caramelized onions and gruyere, this burger has all the makings of something great, but it was a little drier than we prefer. Luckily, the fries are solid when they aren’t part of the poutine, and come with interesting condiments, like massaman curry dip or goat cheese fondue.