Good Eats: A Running Blog of Buford Hwy. Food Gems

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12/23/2011 China Town Food Court: Chong Qing Hot Pot
Price: $
Quality: ***
Atmosphere: Food court

On New Peachtree Rd. just north of the Chamblee Marta station sits a Chinese foodcourt reminiscent of the bustling indoor food hawker stands in Hong Kong. The Atlanta China Town foodcourt in North Atlanta offers at least six different Pan-Asian cuisines. Today we tried Chong Qing Hot Pot. Offering much more than hot pot meals, this Szechaun stand served us three large meals in a matter of minutes. Rufio and his roommate ordered a spicy beef and noodle hot pot and a spicy tofu dish. I ordered Chong Qing spicy chicken, fried and covered in chili peppers. For "fast food" the portions were huge and the flavors and preparation as authentic as the food courts in Hong Kong. The food court is a hidden gem, located just a few streets from the Asian haven of Buford Highway. We will be trying the other stands (particulary the Hong Kong BBQ) in the future.

01/22/2011 Shoya Izakaya
Price: $$
Quality: ***
Atmosphere: Japanese style tapas in a pub style setting

Quan BA 9
Price: $-$$
Quality: ****
Atmosphere: Your typical BuHi eatery, with about 6 tables and 4 booths

Our friendly server walked Rufio through the variety of bun and other soups. We started with a beef carpaccio, before my duck soup with bamboo and his mi quang ga arrived. I washed everything down with penny wort drink, and Rufio polished off his meal with a dessert of sour popping boba

Puras Tortas
Atmosphere: Food court

Rufio learned about the "pambazo" on a local food blog and was determined to try it. Located in the Plaza Fiesta shopping mall, Puras Tortas offers tacos, tortas, grilled chicken, quesadillas and the signature pambazo. The pambazo is fried bread, dipped in ranchero sauce and stuffed with chorizo, potatoes, lettuce and creamy cheese. Not hungry, I opted for their tepiche, a popular Mexican drink made with fermented pineapple juice with cinnamon and other spices.

Chef Liu restaurant
Price: $
Atmosphere: Family Owned Eatery
Quality: ****

On a recommendation from a friend, we tried Chef Lui's Restaurant for its infamous pork buns. Although we were intrigued by the variety of Xiajing cuisine, including dishes such as braised hairtail fish and bitter melon spareribs, we selected the ginger infused pork buns, garlic pork and leek and pork bun dishes. We were thoroughly impressed by the quality and flavor profiles of each of our selections.

Gui's Bistro
Price: $$
Atmosphere: Family Owned Szechuan
Quality: ****
Gu's Bistro has been heralded as the best Szechuan in Atlanta, so naturally it has been on our Buford Highway bucket list for some time. I joined Rufio and his parents after their appetizer of Chengdu pork dumplings in a red chili oil. We ordered three sharing plates: spicy dried eggplant accompanied by sautéed cilantro and dried chili , chonquin spicy chicken with dried Szechuan chili and twice cooked pork belly. While the ingredients were superb, I found all the dishes a little too salty. The rest of the table disagreed, so perhaps scalding my tongue on the first bite of eggplant impacted my experience. I look forward to going back for the stir-fried cumin lamb to test my palette.
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