In chasing ethnic food along Buford Highway (or anywhere for that matter), one thing that I have difficulty with is that restaurant owners are often afraid to break the boundaries of what they think people expect.
Com Ga Thailan
Don’t get me wrong, I love my tacos carnitas, phở tái, niu ro mien and char kway teow, but damn it, I’m paying you to cook, not think! I’ll do the thinking around here – you get back in the kitchen and cook like your frickin’ mother…
Cha ram nem nuong
Fortunately, I’m starting to see a few places break away from the mold and differentiate themselves, cooking the food they like to cook. Bamboo Grill & Hot Pot is a newcomer to Buford Highway, and is broadening the offerings seen on most Vietnamese menus in the area. The big standouts on the menu are lau (Vietnamese hot pot – hence the restaurant’s name), and a few claypot dishes (Cơm Tay Cầm Do Bien, Com Ga Thailan). Lau is a big, cook at your table affair – it ‘s a lot of food. The clay pot dishes are served in a pot that is reminiscent of Chinese clay pots, but the dishes themselves remind me more of Korean dolsot bibimbap – crispy rice and the vegetables still sizzling in the bowl when it comes to the table.
A few other ingredients caught my eye on the menu as well – duck being the one I’m going back for (bun mang vit – duck bamboo vermicelli soup), snail paste – the one I’ll pass on for now.
In a slightly eerie strip mall near the CDC on Buford Highway, Bamboo Grill is located in the space formerly occupied by Pho Pasteur.
Bamboo Grill & Hot Pot
4646 Buford Hwy NE
Chamblee, GA 30341