Dim Sum is always a good lunch choice when you have a group of 3-6 adventurous eaters. I love to visit Oriental Pearl on a Sunday morning, but have learned the hard way to come early, shortly before 11am to snag a table without a wait. While many of the items pictured are available on their regular evening menu, it’s just not the same. Oriental Pearl serves Dim Sum for lunch every day.
What’s the perfect lunch for a dreary Sunday? Vietnamese PHO! And one of my favorite Atlanta spots to get it is Pho Dai Loi #2. The soup comes piping hot and fast. The place is clean and the prices spectacular. What more could you want to chase away the blues? Want to know more about Vietnamese food? Check out my Introduction to Vietnamese Cuisine, available on Kindle. There’s even a bonus section about where to get it in Atlanta.
I’ve driven by this place once a week for a month and each time I thought, “How can this place be both Korean AND Southern?”
Sobban opened in October in a former pizza place near the Veteran’s Hospital and North Druid Hills. I’d already committed to meeting a friend there Friday night before I saw the AJC blog post about it, which was favorable. According to the website, the name means “A Small Ornate Wooden Table Used for Humble Meals During the Lee Dynasty.” -The Korean Version of the Everyday Southern Family Table or TV Dinner Tray.” It is a causal setting, done iwith high quality woods. It’s also descriptive to call it a diner. The place is small. About half of the indoor seating is communal, including a central table and a “bar” across the front. Outside is a nice patio, but that wasn’t really an option on this rainy, November evening.
My friend and I showed up shortly before 6pm and snagged the last two open seats at the center table. We joined a friendly, congenial group and I got numerous hints of what to order next time. The Chef de Cuisine and Co-owner Jiyeon Lee must have been back in the kitchen, but we were waited on personally by Co-owner Cody Taylor. They also own Heirloom Market BBQ.
Overall, I’d say we were impressed with the place and pleased with the prices. I’m excited to try additional items on the menu, especially the KFC (Korean Fried Chicken Wings) and the Barbeque Spare Ribs. I also need to leave room for the Bingsu Korean Shaved Ice Desserts! Word of warning, the place fills up fast. Come early.
1788 Clairmont Rd.
Decatur, GA 30033
Tue-Sat 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Tue-Thu 5 pm – 9:30 pm
Fri-Sat 5 pm – 10:30 pm
You can get decent rotisserie chicken at most grocery stores these days, but there’s something special about the Peruvian chicken at La Brasas, a hole-in-the-wall, red brick shack on a Decatur side street. The bird always comes out juicy and tender. You have to eat it with your hands for a true experience! In addition to perfectly cooked chicken (just $3.99 for a quarter, dark meat) the corn on the cob is very good (as explained to me by a preschooler who said he and his mother just couldn’t wait for daddy to get there and had to go ahead an eat their dinner). What I love is their cold potatoes with a spicy, cheese sauce. The Huancaina Sauce (pronounced: wan-KAY-eena) is the perfect foil to bland, sliced potatoes. It’s garnished with a single black olive and half a hard boiled egg. It’s really filling. I found this recipe that looks close to what I’ve tasted.
It’s hard to beat a little red brick, hole-in-the-wall restaurant like this. Great prices, Great food. Nice folks. It’s a limited menu and don’t expect any “atmosphere.” Most people call in a to-go order because the only dining is on the front patio. Parking in the back.
310 East Howard Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030
I love to explore new places to dine. But sometimes you want a sure thing. I’ve mentioned before that I have a few restaurants that I keep in my head where I KNOW I can take someone and impress them with a meal. I consider them “backpocket” restaurants–places I can always count on. P’cheen International Bistro, in the Old Fourth Ward, is one of these. The food is great, the service excellent, it’s a moonshine bar, and they’ve got DJs spinning music later in the evenings.
Friday night a friend and I were going to Dad’s Garage for their final weekend in Inman Park. I left the car on the Inman/O4W Bridge (just over the Beltline) so we could park just once. Dinner was spectacular, as always. Thanks Alex.