Ming’s Bar B Q is a venerable and well respected institution, respected enough to have a devoted following among bloggers. The store in Duluth is just to the west and south of the Pleasant Hill – I-85 exit, which places it within 15-20 minutes of most people in Snellville. The outside is good looking and the inside of the new location is pretty, using a lot of black and natural wood colors. The staff of the Duluth location are largely fashionably dressed, usually in black.
I’ve been here (and at the Buford Highway location) about five times now, trying to figure out what I like and what I didn’t like. My epiphany came with the following dish, which I didn’t think I was ordering, but due to a smart waiter, I did..
This is “R6″, or “BBQ Pork & Duck on Rice with Green Vegetables”, a mix of duck and honey BBQ on rice, with vegetables. This is the dish that helped open my eyes to the possibilities of this restaurant. It’s more than enough meat, it gives you a taste of Ming’s steamed vegetables, and is very inexpensive. Some of the best dishes here cost less than $6.00.
We’ve been coming back to Mings in part because my mother-in-law took a fancy to Ming’s pan fried noodles. This is what she’s started getting, rain or shine. If you get it “to go”, the noodles come in one container and the chicken and vegetables will come in another. Our house has narrowed in on that as their staple. I’ve been tending more to duck over rice, since I know the rest of my family will never finish their noodles (by the way, the closest dish to Ming’s pan fried noodles I know of are the crispy noodles at What the Pho?).
Other dishes that I’ve tried include the chow fun with curry sauce, which was good and subtle in its spicing. The noodles I received were actually pretty dry. The dish had pork in it, as advertised in the menu, but also bits of egg, small shrimp, any number of little culinary surprises. There was a dry powdery spice on the noodles, and a very small amount of heat, and a very large amount of flavor.
It’s taken me days to get used to the enormous menu, so these are my suggestions if you’ve never been to Mings. The special side order are really their staple meats. Look at the meats and decide which ones you like. Try them in the rice plates. Choose a rice plate you think you’ll like. That’s the staple, the base here, from which you can expand and try things out. The reason I say this is the menu has well over 100 items, and that doesn’t count specials they may have on the walls, or on their whiteboard on entering.
If you make a ton of rice at home, I’ll note that Ming’s meats to go plus a lot of rice is becoming popular in our household. As far as the rest of the menu, it’s a bit like exploring a different kind of world. For example, one family member ordered chicken with broccoli. When I made the order at Ming’s, I was asked, “Chinese broccoli or crown broccoli?” I decided on the Chinese vegetable, which is tender and tasty and sweet, but also a little bitter at the same time. To be using “good” and “bitter” in the same sentence is new to me, but it’s very real and very true.
My take home is this is an inexpensive restaurant with room to explore. That said, I won’t recommend specific dishes. I’ll just say you should go, try things, find what you like. If you find your niche here, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of good, subtle, inexpensive food.
Verdict: Inexpensive place to get tasty meats and other Chinese delicacies. Terrific bang for the buck. Very Highly Recommended.
Mings BBQ has two locations
(Mall Corner Shopping Center)
2131 Pleasant Hill Road Suite #134
Duluth, GA 30096
(in Asian Square, in the very back and far left if you’re facing Ranch Market)
5150 Buford Highway
Atlanta, GA 30340
Final note: I know this restaurant has its own Internet troll. I will delete troll messages about this restaurant.