It’s a seafood market mostly. It has a couple tables and it will cook seafood for you, for a fee. In this it greatly resembles New Orleans Seafood on Pleasant Hill. Lawrenceville Seafood is just a little smaller, the crawfish are a little less spicy, and the eatery is closer to those of us near Lawrenceville.


My daughter and I had some of their crawfish for lunch recently.  Good stuff. Not a bad place if you’re wanting something spicy to take home to the  missus.


Lawrenceville Seafood
2785 Cruse Road
Lawrenceville GA 30044

Lawrenceville Seafood on Urbanspoon

This dish is from  Fung Mei’s Sichuan menu, and if you’re “fried out” of dishes like dry fried eggplant, this mix of vegetables, noodles, and creamy soft meat is a worthwhile addition to your Sichuan choices.

Vegetables, noodles, plenty of spice, and creamy, fatty, delicious meat.

Try it. You won’t be disappointed!

I’ll note that Fung Mei’s E1, Chicken with Dried Red Pepper, is becoming better and better. In other venues, this dish is called “Shan City” chicken. IMO, this version is currently the best in town.

Got back from Christmas and New Years. It was a difficult holiday as almost everyone ended up with flu. My brother did not; he lives in Shanghai these days, working as a financial consultant. A few things he said I thought were of interest.

  • American restaurant service. “You can’t get service like this in restaurants in China.” That led to the discussion of new immigrants (or in the crude vernacular, fobs), and how long term residents of San Francisco’s Chinatown feel about them.
  • American serving size. “The biggest in the world.” The size of Americans surprised him, after all the years overseas.
  • The diversity of ethnic Chinese foods. He’s very fond of Xinjiang cooking – western Chinese cooking, from the Muslim provinces. “You can’t get that kind of cooking in the states.” Northeast Chinese cooking has a lot of dumplings and noodle dishes. The food seen in the States is largely Cantonese.
  • He was a little surprised at the Sichuan foods I could describe to him. He could name them once described.
  • Not food related but interesting nonetheless: though China has a booming economy, there  is still a lot of unemployment there. It’s hard to put 1.3 billion people to work. Cities of course, are huge. A city of 6 or 7 million people is a smaller city in China.

The diversity of food in northwest Louisiana surprised me a little. Good cheeses, good beers are available in decent sized towns, much less cities. Some of the convenience foods available were new to me:

I’d never thought of canning a roux before.

Locally, I tried these dishes at Fung Mei (yu xiang eggplant (i.e. eggplant with spicy garlic sauce) and shredded crispy duck) and they both were really good.

I marvel at how my tropical pepper, the Guam Boonie, continues to produce when the weather is so cold.

New Orleans Seafood is charming, in its own way. I’m delighted that Chow Down Atlanta found this restaurant, as there really is nothing like it anywhere near Snellville.  This is a small seafood store that also prepares food, and the owners are ethnically Vietnamese.  As I entered, I couldn’t help but think about all the Vietnamese around Kemah, Texas in the 1980s, who were the most reliable and inexpensive source of seafood for anyone near Houston at the time.   So to some extent, going to New Orleans Seafood feels as if I’m stepping back in time.

The chef that makes the food go comes from the Mobile, Alabama area. Mobile was a center of Vietnamese immigration, as access to the sea gave these immigrants a way to make a living. That same access to the Gulf also meant an exposure to Cajun customs and cooking, as Acadians range all over the Gulf.

In the middle of all the excitement, I managed to order hush puppies, a boudin ball, a shrimp po boy and about a pound of boiled crawfish.

The big sphere is the boudin ball.

After I entered and ordered, the lady of the eatery came out and ask how I had found the place. I told her I had seen this place on the Internet and she became so excited. Eventually I showed her Chloe’s web site and she started telling me about Chloe’s visit, how Chloe wanted to take pictures and all. It left me in a bit of a quandry, as I wanted to take pictures as well. But the food was ‘to go’ so I ended up leaving and taking pictures when I could stop.

The hush puppies were good. The boudin roll was very good, with a decent amount of spice. The po boy was decent, fresh shrimp combining with a good roll to make a very edible sandwich. But the best of them all were the boiled crawfish. They were the best I’ve had in Atlanta in years, very spicy and delicious. My daughter helped me eat these, and was saying afterwards, “It was so worth it!”

If I haven’t said, this eatery and store is in the same strip mall as “What the Pho?”

Verdict: Cajun seafood and dishes with a Vietnamese flair. Highly Recommended.

New Orleans Seafood
2442 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 8
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 474-0064

New Orleans Seafood on Urbanspoon

Delicious Kabob is a modest restaurant on Shallowford Road, just a bit north and west of the Buford Highway-Shallowford Road intersection. This eatery has been on the hit list of a number of food bloggers this year, including Jennifer Zyman, Jimmy of Eat It Atlanta,  Amy of Amy on Food, and certainly not least, BuHi of Eat Buford Highway. My wife was complaining she didn’t hadn’t had any good Chinese in recent days, and I suggested this place, because it seemed it would be a little different and perhaps we’d find some new (and spicy) food.

For some reason I thought it would be closer to the intersection than it was, and heading up Shallowford from the intersection placed Delicious Kabob on our left once we found it. It’s in a strip mall, and parking is plentiful there.

Once inside, we knew we were going to get kabobs, and so we got the squid kabobs (on Buhi’s recommendation) and we also got chicken kabobs. My wife ordered a chicken lo mein dish, and my daughter their lamb stir fry. I ordered (based on Jennifer Zyman’s recommendations) the Szechuan crispy fried beef with chili and peppercorns.

The squid kabobs arrived first, and then the crispy fried beef, and then the chicken kabobs. I snapped off one shot of the crispy fried beef before my wife stared me down in that “don’t take any more” look. But it’s a terrific looking dish:

The crispy fried beef was the hit of the meal.

The crispy fried beef was the hit of the meal.

The squid kabobs were excellent and spicy, nicely seasoned and a lot of fun to eat, as they were perfectly cooked. The chicken kabobs, by contrast, were a little undercooked, perhaps rushed. The lo mein was a decent dish, but paled in comparison with everything else. The lamb stir fry was pretty good. The crispy fried beef was by far the hit of the meal, a total home run so far as the family was concerned. Despite the huge size of the servings — diet busting in size, to be sure — there wasn’t any beef left by the end of the meal. My wife said to our server, “That’s what I’m getting the next time we come here.”

The cost of the meal, given the serving size, has to be regarded as inexpensive. Each of the entrees could have fed two people easily. That some things worked and some things didn’t is manageable. Trying to get both squid (must be cooked quickly) and chicken (should be allowed to cook thoroughly) kabobs is a mistake we simply won’t repeat. The things that did work were so good we’ll be coming back sometime.

The service was good for the most part. At the end our server seemed to forget we were there and we were left hanging waiting for a ticket. We eventually did get one, but on the owner’s initiative, not our servers.

Verdict: Good Chinese food served in diet busting portions. Decent service. Highly recommended.

Delicious Kabob
3640 Shallowford Road
Doraville GA 30340
(770) 457-4948

Delicious Kabob on Urbanspoon

My wife is the chicken lover in our family. She tells me she can eat it every day of the week. So if we buy chicken, we consult her. Over the last couple years, when we have purchased fried chicken in Snellville, we largely purchase it from Popeye’s.

Popeye’s originated in a suburb of New Orleans and has a spicy New Orleans influence in their products. I’ve known of Popeyes for at least 25 years. My wife and I saw one first in Houston, where it had competition in the form of Frenchy’s fried chicken.  In Snellville, however, there is no Frenchy’s and there is absolutely no competition in the spicy New Orleans chicken category. Moreover, finding good fried chicken in a fast food chain has as much to do with the individual store (manager, cooks, etc) as the chain.

I suspect this store is just a cut above the norm. The chicken we’ve gotten from this store is spicy when it needs to be and is dry, not greasy. The biscuits we have gotten are tender and fresh, with a hint of a butter taste. Among Popeye’s sides, the dirty rice is quite good, but the red beans and rice side has the consistency of a thin soup. I avoid their red beans and rice when possible.

When we eat this chicken, we usually like to add 3 or 4 small hot banana peppers to the food mix. Brands we recommend include Trappey’s Torrido Santa Fe Grande and Mezzetta Hot Chili Peppers.

Verdict: Recommended. It’s among the best fried chicken restaurants in the city. Just please, avoid the red beans and rice.


There is often a special of the day or week, usually adding an extra piece of fried chicken compared to a similar item. This special is usually a better deal, piece for piece, than the standard combos.  If they have one, I recommend you get it.


2330 Ronald Reagan Pkwy.
Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 736-8633

Popeye's Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon

We’ve been traveling a bit – the first vacation devoted to something other than relatives in some years, mostly up and down the Atlantic Coast. The best of the restaurants we ate at was Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons, but I’ll reserve that for a separate review. The others I’ll concatenate here, and also update the boonie pepper status, as they have sprouted.

boonie pepper sprouts.

boonie pepper sprouts.

The details:  The seeds were soaked overnight in water, and the Jiffy Peat pellets were watered with warm water with a little hydrogen peroxide. I added a tablespoon of 3% to 370 ml of water, but I suspect that’s really too much (I’ve seen a teaspoon in a pint or quart recommended). The seeds have been incubating 13 days in a 12 pellet Jiffy peat container, sometimes in the sun, but the last 5 days just near a window, no direct sunlight, using Park Seed’s windowsill heating strip.  The window sill was getting so cold it was counterproductive, whereas warm and near some sun seemed to make more sense to me. If I can get 4 good plants fully grown, I’m in business.

We went up and down the coast the past few days, going as far north as Myrtle Beach, SC and as far south as Tybee Island, GA. We touched on a number of interesting places to eat, but as we’re largely a Atlanta area blog these will be minireviews.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle is not a pure white sand beach, but a light brown beach. It’s long and large, with hotels as far as the eye can see both north and south. Hotels were advertising prices as low as $27.00 a day. There is a lot to see and do, but mostly my wife wanted to watch waves. There was a restaurant near our hotel, called the Pier. If you walked to the pier just north of this one, there was another restaurant there named Pier 14 (getting original here). My wife ate at the Pier. There were decent shrimp in her po boy but the bread was spongy.

A balcony view of Myrtle Beach.

A balcony view of Myrtle Beach.

South Carolina Ginger Ales

I’ve been fascinated by spicy ginger ales ever since I saw a special by Charles Kuralt where he visited a ginger ale manufacturer in Blenheim SC. I know now that Vernor’s has a bit more bite than generic ginger ale, and that if I can get Stewart’s ginger beer (also described here and here), then I can have a nice spicy treat. But what I ran into in a Piggly Wiggly in Myrtle Beach is Blenheim’s Ginger Ale, which in the version I had started smooth and ended with a really nice kick (I wonder what C. Kuralt drank?). For those interested in the comparison between the various ginger ales, there is some discussion of it on Yelp.

This ginger ale has some kick to it. Now if I could find the red cap version..

This ginger ale has some kick to it. Now if I could find the red cap version..

Crabby Mike’s Calabash Buffet, 290 Highway 17 N, Surfside Beach, SC

The nicest thing about Crabby Mike’s buffet is the way they treat people while waiting to get into the buffet. The DJ outside, along with a stack of hula hoops, is really a nice touch. It allowed impatient children of all ages to burn off energy and enjoy themselves while waiting for their meal. Once inside, the menu has no price for the buffet, other than “market price”, so I suspect their prices go up and down as crab and fish become more or less expensive. We were charged $23.99 each for our buffet.

Crabby Mike’s is really big, with three or four step tiers to the restaurant, and in the middle, 7 large islands with food on them, a wall side kiosk where you can get all kinds of fried and grilled fish, and then desserts along one wall. There was a lot of space devoted to snow crab legs and crab clusters, and one section devoted entirely to crab claws. Crab legs and clams seemed to go really fast. They had a mixed collection of clams and mussels and the mussels were enormous.

The food? Mostly good. The snow crabs were saltier than I expected, but certainly edible. My wife went back for seconds on crab. My daughter stuck to the crab claws when she could, because it wasn’t as crowded. There was a lot more seafood, a lot more southern style vegetables than the typical Atlanta based Chinese and crab buffets, but in some respects, the ambience isn’t any different. Some people were in there eating nothing but crab (and throwing half of that away).

The most surprising items I had at Crabby Mike’s were their apple stix. I wasn’t expecting the rush of cinnamon when I bit into those at all. I enjoyed those a lot.

Verdict: Recommended. The food is good, and Crabby Mike’s will make your wait painless.

Crabby Mike's Calabash on Urbanspoon

Sticky Fingers, 341 Johnny Dodds Road, Mt. Pleasant, SC

We knew about this restaurant before we ever saw one, due to their excellent Habanero Hot sauce, which partly replaced our use of the Texas based Stubbs BBQ sauce. We had eaten there once, while staying in Charleston, and we ate there again while driving south along highway 17. This section of highway 17 is just south of the land of the sea grass baskets, little kiosks littering the road selling hand made woven baskets.

The food at Sticky Fingers was good. They have excellent sauces, their chicken fingers are more fist sized than finger sized. Sticky Finger’s ribs are tender but there really is little if any smoke in them. There are better ribs at Mad Dogs in Conyers.

Verdict: Recommended. Meats are good, but the excellent sauces are really the star of Sticky Fingers.

Sticky Fingers - Mount Pleasant on Urbanspoon

Tybee Island

We had climbed the lighthouse before, but never really found the beaches, until this trip. It’s not as developed as Myrtle Beach, not as many things to see and do, but the beach is whiter, if smaller, and when we were there, the waves weren’t as bad and the weather was warmer.

AJ”s Dockside Restaurant, 1315 Chatham Ave, Tybee Island, GA

If you get far enough south on Tybee, this restaurant can be found by driving as west as you can. That’s how I found it, that and a peek at their Urban Spoon page.  The Urban spoon reviews recommended arriving just before sunset, as the view is excellent, but we had no such luck.  AJ’s has inside and outside seating, and I suspect during the spring and fall that the outside seating is the way to go. AJ’s is an honest to god hole-in-the-wall restaurant, as the inside seating is in line with their bar, while outside seating spills off onto a pier nearby.

My daughter and my wife had AJ’s po boy. I had a cup of their crab stew, and a crab burger, where instead of beef or chicken, you get eight ounces of crab meat patty on your burger bun. My wife substituted a house salad for her fries. That substitution came at no cost.

The short of it? Everything was good, but while I liked my crab burger (the patty was twice the size of my bun), I loved the crab stew. It was thick with crab meat, rich with cream. I told my wife if we come back, I’m getting a bowl of the stew. The salad had perfectly ripe tomatoes, the shrimp on the po boys were good, and the bread on the po boys was both fresh and a little toasted, as opposed to spongy.

The menu for AJ’s is available on their web site.

Verdict: Recommended, good to very good. We’ll have to get a bowl of the crab stew when we come back.

Aj's Dockside Restaurant on Urbanspoon