Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quick Bites: Gu's Bistro

The Mr. and I had both convinced ourselves that we had been to Gu's Bistro, but upon arriving over the weekend, we realized that we'd both been thinking of Bobo Gardens. I'm glad we've resolved that little confusion because both Buford Highway restos have their charms.

I'd seen raves about Gu's in the AJC and Creative Loafing, so we took our ordering cues from their recommendations. There's so much to try there, and with just three people we couldn't get to everything I wanted (still wishing I could have tried the dumplings with red chili oil!)
Spicy Dried Eggplant
We kicked things off with the Spicy Dried Eggplant (fried eggplant, cilantro, dried chili peppers, and Szechuan peppercorn powder). Spicy dried eggplant was always a favorite at Tasty China, so I was curious to try Gu's take. They're akin to spicy french fries, with a crispy and spicy exterior and a warm and almost creamy interior. Maybe they saw a table full of white people and toned down the heat on these as they weren't quite as hot and numbing (ma la) as the Tasty China version, but these were still quite addictive.
Chengdu Style Cold Noodles
I'm not usually a big Asian noodle eater, but the Chengdu Style Cold Noodles (noodles, garlic, bean sprouts, and  scallions with sweet chili sauce) might have been my favorite dish of the night. They're so full of flavor and are infinitely slurpable. I will be back for more of the Chengdu style noodles very soon!

Chongqing Spicy Chicken
I loved the sound of the Chongqing Spicy Chicken (fried and sautéed chicken, garlic, scallions, and dried chili peppers) more than the taste. As anyone who's ever been to a Bojangles knows, spicy fried chicken is where it's at. But these were less spicy, less crispy and less all around delicious than I was expecting. Certainly not bad, in fact they were perfectly fine, but with limited room in my stomach, I set this dish aside and went back for seconds of the Chengdu style noodles.

Tea Smoked Duck
Last up was the Tea Smoked Duck (tea smoked duck and scallions with sesame paste). I find meat on the bone incredibly hard to eat with chopsticks, so I went in for some of this with my hands. The meat was tender and pleasantly smoky. The sweet sesame paste offered a barbecue sauce-esque accompaniment to make things even more interesting.

Overall I really enjoyed my meal at Gu's. It's authentic but approachable with a friendly staff and a reasonably upscale dining room for Buford Highway. They even have a decent selection of craft beer and wine, a rarity on BuHi.  I'd put it generally on par with Atlanta favorite Peter Chang's Tasty China (though some bloggers/writers seem to like Gu's even better).  I will certainly be back, as there's a lot more that I want to try.

Gu's Bistro
5750 Buford Highway
Doraville, GA 30340
(770) 451-8118



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