Lotus Vietnamese — Pho

Crispy Lotus Root With Salt & Pepper

These dense, crispy rounds and half rounds offer a savory richness that kept us coming back for more.  We’re sure to be craving them in the very near future.

Actually, we’re up for a mini road trip right now.

Bánh Bèo Huế

We could go for more of those, too.

Herbs, Sprouts & Lime Wedges

Phở Đặc Biệt

Pho Dac Biet
(With Filet Mignon, Brisket, Flank, Soft Tendon, Tripe & Meatballs)

Here, the beef stands out vividly.  Rich with flavor and meltingly tender, we devoured every tender sliver.  The delicate broth added depth and dimension.

Phở Hải Sản

Shrimp, squid, fish balls, and krab(with a K) were all present.

Jasmine Tea To Finish

So many offerings, we’ve enjoyed every meal.

Lotus Vietnamese Cuisine
2550 Pleasant Hill Road
Suite 408
Duluth, GA 30096
770 622 9693

Nam Phuong — Bun Bo Hue

Canh Chua Cá
(Sour Soup with Fish)

This soup was loaded with vegetables.  There was a slew of celery, a heaping bowlful of bean sprouts, oodles of okra, jalapeños, and pleasantly spicy red peppers.  This bright array of vegetables brought the sweet and sour broth alive with fresh flavors.  And, crispy fried pork bits add richness.

So tender, we believe the catfish was cooked gently in the steaming hot broth.

Each piece of fish was barely touched with the faintest blush of pink.  Only the lightest touch was need for it to flake into tender bites.

The sweetness clearly comes from the pineapple and the juices they contribute.

Bún bò Huế 

Concentrated with flavor, the saltiness of the fish sauce was dominant in a mostly good way.  Sadly, the chopped herbs were a bit skimpy and limp.  There was plenty of beef, blood pudding, half of a pork hock and slices of pork loaf (cha lua or gio lua).  But, it was all hiding at the bottom of the bowl.

We were craving a lot more whole herb leaves and herb sprigs.

Nam Phuong Restaurant
(Nam Phuong Atlanta)
5495 Jimmy Carter Boulevard
Norcross, GA  30093
770 409 8686

I Luv Pho

Bún Bò Huế

It’s all good.  From the herbs, to the onion slivers, to the beef, blood pudding, pork and pork hock, all were present in delicious abundance.  And, the broth was rich and meaty with a delicate lacing of spices.  We immediately contemplated a return visit.  And, that’s always a good sign.

Pho Do Bien

There were generous quantities of tender squid,pork loaf slices and shrimp just below the surface of that lovely broth.  It’s so full of flavor.  The fresh herbs keep it bright and alive.

There are plenty of herbs and a mountain of mung bean sprouts.

There was plenty of culantro, cilantro, basil, mint, and shredded cabbage for two.

Chả Giò

We loved the sweet coconut water, too.  It was loaded with 4 big slices of young, tender coconut.

I Luv Pho
5145 Buford Highway
Norcross, GA 30093
770 696 1662

Paris Baguette — Liege Waffles

Paris Baguette’s Liège Style Waffle

Liege waffles, Belgian sugar waffles, gaufrettes, gaulettes, gullets,

or …

Gaufres de Liège

Sugar waffles in the style of Liege are rich, sweet almost cookie-like waffles that are dotted with pearl sugar.  This tends to cause the sugar crystals near the edges to caramelize.  And, caramelized sugar teetering on the dark side makes everything better.  We would’ve liked to have seen more of that caramelization on these waffles.  One of our waffles was dotted with more sugar crystals than the other.  You can easily guess which one of the two was better.  And, these waffles were speckled with large crystals of sugar… not snowy white pearl sugar.

Large Sugar Crystal, Not Pearl Sugar

We’re really surprised that there isn’t more caramelization.

Still, these are basically griddle-fried cookie dough.  So, what’s not to love?

And, on the day of our visit, we nabbed the last two.  This means you’ll want to go early in the day on the weekends if you want to nab a couple, too.  Life Span?  Eat these on the same day that you buy them.  By the second day, they lose their charm.

Feuilletés au Chocolat

Mmm, now here’s some caramelized sugar.  Laminated dough filled with chocolate and covered in brûléed sugar, we’ll take that.  Yes, please!  More, please.  We’re so sorry we only bought one.  Loved it!

Paris Baguette
5252 Buford Highway NE
Doraville, GA  30340
770 455 8552

Paris Baguette — Mont Blanc

Paris Baguette’s Mont Blanc Pastry

Incredibly rich with a piping of dense chestnut paste on top and stuffed with two little roasted chestnuts under the paste, these were divine.  We both love just about anything and everything with chestnuts.  Yes, the chestnut paste might be just a wee touch on the too dense and crumbly side of things.  This renders them slightly unattractive.  But, we still love these pastries.  And, we’ll definitely be back for more.

Orange & Pistachio Croissant

“Pistachio, are you sure?”

“The labelled tray and receipt both said pistachio.”

Hmm, these were quite tasty.  Both were filled with a slick, slippery almond and candied orange puree.  This was definitely more of a thin puree of almond and candied orange peel than a rich marzipan paste.  And, the texture was extremely reminiscent of bean paste.  Still tasty?  Yes, but, we’d say the fragrant orange dominates.  Pistachio?  We sure can’t taste it.

Tomorrow:
Gaulettes!

Paris Baguette Bakery
5252 Buford Highway NE
Doraville, GA  30340
770 455 8552

Pho Dai Loi

Bún Bò Huế

Pho Dai Loi offers a version that is truly a delicious thing of beauty.  The combination of rich flavors all melt together in luscious harmony.

Tender slices of beef, blood pudding, pork hock, herbs and…

Is it star anise and a hint of cinnamon??

The blood pudding was dotted with little air bubbles… so tender.

Phở Đặc Biệt

Eye round, flank steak, marble brisket, soft tendon and bible (also known as leaf) tripe, they’re all represented in seriously tender, tasty glory.

And, under all of that meat, there’s a mess of chewy noodles.  We ordered medium bowls.  And, both medium bowls required that we take about half of each serving home with us.

Lime, Mint, Basil, Mung Bean Sprouts, Baby Lettuce, Jalapeños,
& Other Bitter Greens

All were perfectly fresh.

Culantro, or Long Coriander

We used every leaf of it.  And, we used every sliver of jalapeño, too.

Chả Giò

Stuffed generously with pork, these were super crisp and feathery light.  In a word, they were divine.

Pho Dai Loi
(Dai Loi Restaurant 2)
4186 Buford Highway NE
Suite G
Atlanta,  GA  30319
404 633 2111

Pho Bac

Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang
Hu Tieu hoac Mi Nam Vang
(Shrimp, Squid, & Pork with Egg Noodles)

Bún

And, there was at least one quail egg, too.

Bún Bò Huế

This soup was jam-packed with thin slices of incredibly tender beef and sliced, spiced meatballs.

Jalapeños, Lime, Cabbage, Bean Sprouts, & Lettuce

Chả Giò
(Vietnamese Fried Egg Rolls with Chicken & Shrimp)

This was another lovely meal from start to finish.

Pho Bac Vietnamese Restaurant’s Iced Drinks & Smoothie List

Pho Bac
4897 Buford Highway
#106
Chamblee, GA 30341
770 986 4273

Tom, Dick & Hank


TDH
Tom, Dick, & Hank

Smoked Turkey Ribs

What is a turkey rib?  Well, it’s a slice of turkey breast that’s smoked on one bone.  That bone gives you something to hold on to while you nibble it up.  It’s incredibly tender.  And, the turkey has the richness of pulled pork with even more tenderness.  What’s not to love?

Smoked Chicken Wings

If you want a heaping touch of soul and the tropics with your smoked chicken wings, you’ll want to try some of these real soon.  We’re in love with these.

(And, the leftovers served cold straight out of the fridge are just as delicious.  Actually, they might even be better.  We’re just not sure.  So, we’ll just have to try some more.)

Quarter Chicken
(Breast & Wing)

Both the smoked wings and quarter chicken have a spice rub.

Two heaping sides of field peas and peppery macaroni & cheese, too.  Both sides were so generous, they could easily be a meal by themselves.

Sweet potato pie, too?  Hell, yeah!

There are three tables out front.  Each table has at least two chairs.

Menu

Tom, Dick, & Hank’s is located on Ponce De Leon right across the street from Krispy Kreme.  If you’re heading East on Ponce from Midtown toward Druid Hills and Decatur, you’ll see the old Kodak sign.  If you pass the old Kodak sign, you’ve just passed Tom, Dick, & Hank’s BBQ.

Tom, Dick, & Hank BBQ
(Tropical Deli)
294 Ponce De Leon Road
Atlanta, GA 30308
404 207 4952

Las Costas Nayaritas

Huanchinango Frito
(Deep-Fried Red Snapper)

Three visits and 6 whole deep-fried red snappers in a month, each golden brown and nicely seasoned with salt and pepper.

Served with a very generous order of piping hot fries, buttered rice, lettuce and tomato, this could easily serve two.  We should probably share one.  But, leftovers make surprisingly tasty nibbles at midnight.  And, if the remainders are left whole, they’re still tender and moist hours later.

Crispy on the outside…

…and tender on the inside.

Each meal starts with all the fixings to build your own fish tostadas.

(And, if you’re in a cocktail state of mind, we’ve seen adult beverages served in whole coconuts and pineapples.  Why haven’t we already sampled these?)

Las Costas Nayaritas
1555 Pleasant Hill Road
Duluth, GA 30096
678 788 8888

The Pub Perimeter

Black Velvet
(Guiness over Cider, too sweet and heavy for us)

Fluffy (food court style) pretzels, one of the mustards had a mildly decent kick.  The other was simply way too sweet  for our taste.

Fish & Chips

The generous piece of haddock sat on just over a dozen room temperature chips.  Actually, room temperature might be a generous assessment.  Bonus points for haddock were lost after one bite of the miserable chips.  When your main competition is The Cheesecake Factory, the bar isn’t set all that high.  Next time we’re ravenous and at the Perimeter Mall, what would we choose?  We might flip a coin.  Or, we might just grab a sandwich at Alon’s.  That’d be the smart thing to do.

It was an experience all right.  But, it wasn’t a good one.

The Pub Perimeter
4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30346
770 557 0883