Here are random things that I’ve been fortunate enough to have eaten recently from our lovely food paradise that is Metro Atlanta! I know I’m biased, but until you’ve driven around looking around for good Asian food in cities around the southeast, you don’t know how good we got it. Anyways, here’s random dishes I remembered to take photos of in the past few months. (On a side note, the best food is still home cooked (Lao) food. 🙂
Masterpiece – Duluth, GA
Chairman Mao’s Braised Pork. This is a sweet pork dish similar to our “Thom Kem.” It can be a bit too sweet for some people’s tastes, but I really liked it, and the “gravy” makes sure we don’t waste rice when you take it home!
I forget the name of this dish, but it’s a dry pan fried stir fry mix of shrimp, onions, bamboo, potatoes, and oh yeah, some of the hottest peppers I’ve had recently. I’m not kidding. I really liked it though.
Just look at those evil peppers.
For a good price that feeds probably 4 people, they have this fish maw and coriander soup. I could see eating just this and rice.
Stir Fried greens. Not many places can mess this up.
I also forget the name of this dish, but it’s a hot and spicy chicken dish with a flavorful oily sauce. And yes those peppers all over the top actually aren’t that spicy to me.
This was actually my favorite soup, and very much like comfort food. It’s a flavorful sour-ish catfish stew with the pickled vegetables that Lao, Korean, and others eat a lot at home. Simple and really filling broth.
Rain Thai and Sushi – Atlanta, GA
We come here a lot. (Thanks euy Noi and Sokkim!)
Wasabi dumplings (the fried variety) in a really flavorful soy based sauce. We get this a lot and if you like the burst of wasabi then you’ll like this or the steamed version.
This is beef salad, basically larp and one of the staples of Lao cuisine. What I think separates it from other places is the generous use of toasted rice powder. It really goes hand in hand with herbs and citrus spices.
Rain chicken wings. These are some of my favorites and always cooked for the right amount of tenderness and skin crispness. The marinade isn’t heavy handed and just enough to be an appetizer or even meal by itself.
Batavia – Doraville, GA
Of course I can’t forget one of my favorite Indonesian places, Batavia. It’s like the equivalent of soul food for Asian people. For this platter I got: curry tripe, eggplant, and bitter melon. This place is not stingy with rice or hot sauce either.
Super H Food Court – Duluth, GA
I totally forgot about the bento box combo you can get in the food court for a pretty good price. Just look at all that food: bulgogi, salad, some pot stickers, rice, soup, and kim chee
Bombay Kitchen – Tucker, GA
Finally got to try this Indian place I pass by all the time while going thrifting in Tucker. It’s Indian food with the Nepalese touch.
Their version of the garlic naan leans more towards the greasy roti kind–which is what I like! The tearing off of the flaky oily croissant-like bread as you dip it in even more saucy food is the best.
I’ll say this about all the food pictured below, it’s hot. Like crazy insane hot. If it were the Dark Souls of food, it would be New Game+. I’m not kidding. But man is it good. Mixed vegetables just swimming in the chili oil. If you find Naan and Curry up in Duluth spicy, then this is a whole new beast.
Curry Chicken, Mixed Vegetables, Goat Curry, all level 10 spice level. Every dish comes with a big platter of basmati rice too, which is nice.
Ching Mei – Duluth, GA
I really like this Chinese food cooked by Korean people! Judging by the customers (almost all Korean) so do others! Sometimes only orange chicken will do. I’m never knocking this American creation. (If you ever go to the cons in Atlanta, Peachtree Center has that Chinese place that has the staple mall Chinese food. Much better than spending money on the other stuff). Anyways I liked this simple dish.
Stir fried tofu and bok choy. Another simple comfort food dish. The way they cook and sear the tofu is great though, with a texture like fried eggs. This is the original mock meat. (Ask any little Asian kid what they’d like to eat, and it’s probably eggs and rice.)
Ty BBQ – Duluth, GA
This is a side store inside the City Farmer’s Market in Duluth. You can get the roast duck, pork, and other stuff for a quick and easy take out dinner.
Pork dumpling won ton soup. I really liked this broth with hints of fried garlic and the onion greens and a bit of broccoli was a nice touch.
Salt and pepper jumbo shrimp. Yes I eat the whole thing, shell and all. This was pretty good. It could have used a tiny bit more flavor though.
Chow Fun chicken. This could have also used a bit more sauce, but I did like how the noodles were burnt a bit, which is obviously how you’re supposed to do it. I think its really default settings is meant to be drizzled with sriracha and pickled peppers though. I finished it all though.
Tacos from a rolling food truck from my brother’s workplace – Suwanee, GA
These tacos were pretty good, and the big pepper was actually sweet inside. I liked the chicken much more than the beef. I don’t know if they had the green sauce but that would have pushed these tacos into elite level.
Taste of China – Duluth, GA
This Chinese place is nestled behind the Walmart in Duluth, in that big ol shopping center with the spa and other random eats I totally forgot about.
The spicy cold chicken dish. The sauce is really flavorful but I’m not keen on the temperature being cold. Heated up back home is the way I think one should eat it. If the chili oil sauce here is a level 1 or 2, the Bombay Kitchen stuff is probably 10.
On the front of the restaurant has photos, so I had to try good ol Mongolian Beef. Again I never get tired of this American Chinese dish creation. The meat and marinade was really good. With the rising food costs, most small take out places give you like 8:2 ratio of onions to meat, so I’m glad to see they didn’t skimp that much.
Pig Tales on Lake Lanier – Flowery Branch, GA
We also come here a lot. Very lovely place to watch the sunset and eat good food. On this day was crazy cold though.
Pulled Pork on Texas Toast and Tater Tots
Craft Burger by Shane – Suwanee, GA
This new burger joint is great and usually always busy. I ate Five Guys for years, but this burger place is my new top tier spot. It’s just cooked right, which is ironically rare for just food in general these days.
Classic hamburger with sweet potato fries.
Mojitos – Norcross, GA
Yuca fries. I wasn’t too impressed by these since they were pretty starchy and flavorless. I discovered their leftovers in the fridge days later and heated them up again, but they were even less edible. There has to be a way to add some spice rub to them to make them restaurant worthy, as I’d take some potato wedges with skin over them any day.
I had the piece that has the crawfish jambalaya, which was great.
I created my own combo by ordering creatively from the menu. You can get: a small salad, the one with greens, pears, pecans and add a hunk of salmon on top. And also fried plantains and black beans.
Pho at my brother’s House
Some say they could eat Pho every day. For every meal. I could see that. I still don’t think any restaurant’s broth can compare to something simmering at home for hours and hours.
So I found this amazing frozen cooked garlic naan at Nam Dae Mun. $9 for 16 individual pieces that only take 3-4 minutes in the air fryer. This particular piece I turned into a mini snack pizza. With sauce from a can and an old ancient pack of Parmesan cheese I got from the Costco food court probably years ago. So many variations, like some with whole chunks of mushrooms and olives and peppers, kept me through the days as I finished Elden Ring. Like the character builds in that game, the possibilities of this “naan pizza” are endless my friends.
I got this Blackberry Jam from the really nice antique store in Lilburn the other day. It’s pretty good. It’s pretty sweet, much sweeter than the Publix preserves, but it definitely tastes like blackberries in summer. The seeds are a bit hard too, so careful chomping down.
Blackberry jam on Publix Italian Bread. Yes that bread is amazing. The antique store also has huckleberry jam and peach preserves, which I’ll have to go back and buy!