Sichuan Beef

February 26, 2015 · 1 comment

in atlanta



In my recent post about Gu’s I complained of the missing “kick my ass” element as compared to the old days of Peter Cheng. 

THIS is how it’s done. Blogger emeritus Rowdy cooked up this beef dish the other night for us. 

It is over the top in a way, but fantastic. The Sichuan peppercorns are more fragrant and numbing than hot. My 18 month old son loved the leftovers. 

Best Sichuan I’ve had in years. 

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On The Bayou

February 24, 2015 · 1 comment

in dining out

On the Bayou

Due to the relative proximity of my home down Atlanta road, my office in Vinings, trips to Costco to buy epic portions of toilet paper, and my brother living off Spring Rd, I often find myself in the Smyrna area looking for somewhere to grab a decent lunch.

I used to hit Yakitori Jenbei or Roy’s for a cheesesteak, but both have changed ownership and gone downhill in recent years. The Cumberland mall area is a barrage of chains, which will only be furthered by the Braves disaster. Everything available just seems so middling. Muss & Turner’s is a go-to option for me, but everytime I go there I end up spending more than I anticipate. That said, I had a great chicken and sausage gumbo there yesterday.

Speaking of gumbo (check that lead-in brah!), I did recently check out On the Bayou on the strength of online reports. The solo lunch was not as expeditious as I had hoped, the server not super attentive to my desire to get in and get out on a work day, but I’d like to try it again. The roux-darkened chicken andouille gumbo packed a deeply flavorful punch. Good stuff.

The po-boy (shrimp and oyster mixed) would have been excellent had the Leidenheimer bread been a little fresher. Included fries ain’t bad either.

Worth a try but for a taste of New Orleans I’d be hard pressed to not visit AJ’s instead.

On the Bayou

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Gu's Bistro

It had been a while since I’d been to Gu’s Bistro, the popular Sichuan restaurant on Buford Highway, with a soon-to-open dumpling stall in Krog Street Market. Gu’s has always been a little more approachable than the temple of assburn which initiated so many of us in Atlanta – Tasty China. It’s friendlier. Cleaner. Yvonne Khan, the daughter of Chef Gu, is young and knew how to market her restaurant, adding a dim sum brunch and putting a few craft beers on the list.

It’s not just the ambience which has been a little softer – the food has been called more balanced than the sweat inducing hot pots and numbing (ma la), chile raging dry fried beef, pork belly, and eggplant of Tasty China, where somehow Peter Chang always left us wanting more, disregarding the obvious pain to come, like a booze hound forgetting the agony of the previous hangover.

Gu’s is indeed more manageable, and I’m sure many people appreciate it. I really do enjoy eating there, but I miss the debaucherous meals I’d have at Tasty China, generally with my “wine boyfriends” (as my wife calls them), where a sweet Auslese Riesling was the only temporary relief one would find for the brutal and interesting procession of heat and numbness balanced in disbelief.

Likely my favorite dish from Gu’s on this recent evening came close to hitting that mark of perfection, the Shan City crawfish, where the usual small nibs of chicken were replaced with more plump and tender crawfish, crisp and molten, with a fine dusting of Sichuan peppercorn. It’s an easy re-order.

Regardless of my nit picking and nostalgia for a time when I was on the fast track to an ulcer, Gu’s is one of the best spots in town to casually (and relatively inexpensively) share some wine and food and enjoy the evening. If you need a cool white wine to go with the food, consider stopping at nearby Le Caveau and let them know you’re hitting Gu’s.

Photos below

Gu's Bistro

Gu's Bistro

Gu's Bistro

Gu's Bistro

the aforementioned Shan city crawfish

Gu's Bistro

Gu's Bistro

Gu's Bistro

Gu's Bistro

Gu's Bistro

Gu's Bistro

Gu's Bistro Gu's Bistro

Gu's Bistro Gu's Bistro

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Two Real Nice Lunches – Spice to Table, Leon’s

February 15, 2015

The last two weekends have been quite nice. While slightly chilly, the sun has been shining and it feels like a time to go out and do something. Maybe the belt line? Have you been to the belt line? OMG stampede on the belt line towards Krog Street Market!?!? God help the children trying to buy ice […]

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Fried Baked Hot Wings

February 13, 2015

I’ve chronicled it many times, but hot wings are my side piece, and there are very few instances that would cause me to swipe left. I’ve seen many attempts to make a solid baked chicken wing, but there are just some things that will always be better than alternatives, and fried wings will always best baked ones. However, […]

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Pendergrass Flea Market Food Court

February 10, 2015

If you find yourself on I-85 about half way between Atlanta and Greenville on a weekend, there is quite the interesting shopping opportunity and food court at the Pendergrass Flea Market. The flea market is part shopping mall, part yard sale, with a dash of state fair, and they happen to have a thriving food court, […]

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Hal’s

February 9, 2015

The modern, expensive steakhouse isn’t really known for being hip or on the cutting edge of culinary trends. They are generally predictable, having a typical assortment of raw bar selections, a la carte sides with (perhaps) a (mildly) unique approach towards spinach or potato, classic cocktails, large and fanciful selections of fish like turbot or dover sole, and of course, […]

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Qing Mu

January 26, 2015

Qing Mu, the latest “concept” from Aoki Group just opened in the new Buckhead development, next door to their sushi restaurant, Doraku, which has locations in Miami and Hawaii. The word doraku roughly translates to “trendy tourist spot”. But seriously (will be here all week) Doraku looks decent enough and I guess that’s what I’d say about Qing Mu. The […]

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