I came here because BuHi tweeted he was here that day. Thankfully the weather was threatening but not so bad I couldn’t reach it. I ended up chatting until he, his son, and his friend left, and then got down to actually eating.

It doesn’t show but the pulled pork was by far the best of the meats that I tried. It had a real bark, clear signs of smoking, was about as good as it gets. The ribs, by contrast, were smoked, but not smoky enough for my personal tastes. They were, however, exceptionally tender for a smoked meat.

The two sauces I tried were good: the vinegar sauce and the mustard sauce I felt all complimented the meats. If I were to come here again, I’d skip the ribs and load up on the pulled pork. To note, they also smoke salmon here, but the sweet used when smoking it kind of put me off. Still, I’m curious about the product.

Pig N Chik
5071 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30341
(770) 451-1112

Pig-n-Chik BBQ on Urbanspoon

By far the best known dim sum restaurant in the Atlanta area, we’ve been going for a long while, but we hadn’t gone since my blog started and we hadn’t gone post my diagnosis with diabetes. Is it possible for a diabetic to eat at Canton House and eat safely? It’s not like a diet of dumplings is going to do me any good.

For those who haven’t had dim sum before, small plates of food, largely dumplings, are brought to each table via carts. You select which items you want and they’re placed on the table, and a count of what you eat is made on a ticket. At the end of the meal, the items you’ve eaten are totaled and you pay for what you ate. To note, dim sum are the food items and the service style is called yum cha.

When I first encountered dim sum, it was generally served only around lunch. In San Francisco, dim-sum, rather than just being a breakfast or lunch thing ( e.g. Ton Kiang) is served well into the night. The street sign above suggests that it’s beginning to become the same in Atlanta as well.

In terms of items to eat, Canton House had plates other than dumplings on the menu as well, such as eggplant

and Chinese broccoli.

There was a fish filet and also clams with black bean sauce. All three of these made my task easier.

Of course they have dumplings as well, and plenty of them with pork and shrimp. Just my take on this kind of eating, but you don’t want to overload on the variety of ways they can serve shrimp. Get enough for the taste and eat other things as well.

This dumpling was stuffed with barbecue. Neat, that.

And to end, my wife just had to have sesame balls. She loves these things.

Service was really good this day. Overall, Canton House is a great little eatery.  Highly recommended.

Canton House
4825 Buford Highway
Chamblee, GA 30341
(770) 936-9030

Canton House on Urbanspoon

Mad Italian. Easy to find, just off 285 heading east, perhaps the easiest of the Savoy Drive restaurants to see along the Interstate. Great commuter stop, especially when the Loop resembles a parking lot. Known for cheese steaks, so I was developing an interest, yes.

Foodie Buddha, the Enlightened One, has troubled more with cheesesteaks than many (posts here and here), and on the latter link some time back, I said what I thought of steaks. It is indeed true that the best I ever had came from a basement cafeteria at the University of Pennsylvania, using provolone cheese and a lot of those spicy cherry peppers the Philadelphians favor. I had my share of street steaks back in the day. The basics of a cheese steak are simple: inexpensive cheese, lots of onions, inexpensive thin sliced steak. It’s in the execution that it succeeds or fails.

By that criterion, I think Mad Italian’s steak is a success. Dripping with cheese, I’d have liked a few more onions, and I was slow asking if they had hot cherry peppers. Otherwise I think this steak is pretty stinkin’ good. Drippy cheese is everywhere. The onions they do have add to the flavor. The roll is soft and doesn’t get in the way. A pair of thumbs up from this commuter.

Mad Italian
2197 Savoy Drive
Chamblee, GA 30341
(770) 451-8048

Mad Italian on Urbanspoon

Took my family to the mall based Chong Qing recently. I’m just posting some food photos to enjoy.

To summarize, a lamb hot pot, chicken with vegetables, spicy hot pot and a green bean dish whose name escapes me. Good though. Some WOW in the pots and the greens, to note.

It was a meeting sponsored by BuHi, and there were five bloggers and a guest there. No, no names given at this time. Live to Feast was there, and I was there. The author of Spoonfed (Atlanta) was there, as was Octosquid.  Everyone was interesting in their own way, everyone was civil, and BuHi asked us all to choose a spot and try some food.

Chong Qing Hot Pot is one of the vendors in the Chinatown food court. The man I spoke to was civil and the place reminded me so much of the restaurants in the Japantowns I’ve been visiting, with all the pictures of food. I’m still thinking about that bowl of soup, the meats, the spices, the vegetables, the mushrooms. Largely I think it was the variety and texture of mushrooms that made it so wonderful. The heat was enough to make me want rice at points, but by the end of the meal, the burn had all gone away. The name was simple enough: spicy hot pot, but the taste and textures were exceptional.

The serving size, incidentally, is enough to serve two, and was less than $10.00.

Verdict: Mean bowls of soup here. Highly recommended.

Chong Qing Hot Pot
5385 New Peachtree Rd
Chamblee, GA 30341
(770) 936-1379

Chong Qing Hot Pot on Urbanspoon

Penang is in a strip mall about a half block south of Chamblee Tucker Road on Buford and far enough into a corner to be impossible to see from the road. I wasn’t even looking for it, I was trying to find Lee’s Bakery,  but Amy on Food reviewed this restaurant recently, it was late and I was hungry.

This has been an award winning Malaysian-Thai restaurant since 2000. The Zagat rating of “Excellent” in 2007 is on the wall as you enter. In my case, it brought back memories of a Malaysian coworker, who would occasionally would share food with me. I couldn’t eat what she ate. It was simply too hot. She’d make a milder version that was more edible for an American.

Inside Penang is quite pretty. There is a lot of wood in the restaurant, murals on two walls, good looking tables, and a real attempt to evoke a Southeast Asian feel. Penang is roomy inside, with plenty of elbow room between tables. Service was, in my estimation, very good.

After a brief look at the menu (which is large, over 100 items), I ordered the beef Penang Satay and Kari Ayam, a curry with chicken and potatoes. The Keri Ayam arrived first; the satay took a while to cook. And while the Kari Ayam was good, the satay was beautiful and delicious, grilled meat flavors mixing with the beef marinade in ways that accented both.

Though both dishes were marked with a pepper on the menu, and they had flavor, I didn’t find either especially hot. The curry had a hint of it. I don’t recall any heat in the satay at all. I’m sure you can ask for more spice if necessary.

Verdict: Recommended. Good to excellent food, beautifully presented. Fine service. Heat may disappoint if you’re a spice lover.

4897 Buford Hwy # 113
Chamblee, GA 30341
(770) 220-0308

Penang on Urbanspoon

Fine reviews of Penang can also be found here, here, and here.