Skip to main content

Eating Around Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech is an island of geeks in a sea of bureaucrats.  Back in 1885, the Georgia School of Technology was founded on a horse farm on the outskirts of Atlanta. Today, Coca-Cola borders the south side of campus, Turner Broadcasting guards the north border, and the former Bell South headquarters sits a few blocks to the east.  As a result, many of the lunch choices near campus are designed to support business lunches, not hungry students.

Furthermore, Atlanta's restaurant entrepreneurs seem to have not been appraised of the Iron Law of Computer Science: All programmers love Chinese food.  Go to Cambridge MA to see what I mean: MIT is guarded by Chinese restaurants like Fort Knox is guarded by pillboxes while Harvard has only a few token examples of the species.  Given the thousands of hungry students who need dan-dan noodles and kung pao chicken to keep their fingers flying over the keyboard, I'm shocked that more Chinese restaurants haven't sprung up to serve their needs.

When I am in the mood for Chinese food, usually about once a week, I go to Chow Baby, about a mile off campus. Today I took my colleagues Sudha Yalamanchili and Milos Prvulovic. I refer to it as tragically hip Mongolian barbeque, which sounds belittling, but I like the food. I generally classify Mongolian BBQ restaurants as grad student fare---low-grade food for people with little money and no standards.  But Chow Baby uses high-quality ingredients in great variety. As I grow older, I particularly appreciate their vegetables; those of us in the AARP-enabled set need to eat our roughage.  The sauces are in great variety and quite good, not to mention in a wide variety of caloric contents.  The lines can be long, but waiting is part of the fun.  Although they don't emphasize this too much, you can in fact go back as many times as you want.  If I had moved to Atlanta 25 years ago, they would have been sorry to see me darken their door, but today I only occasionally load up on a few extra vegetables.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ann Arbor MI: West End Grill

Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.

Pressure Cooker Candied Ginger

I made candied ginger a few years ago. It's not something I would do every day but I had a lot of fun doing it. I recently acquired a pressure cooker and it inspired an interesting idea to me: why not make candied ginger in the pressure cooker? It should be very soft and flavorful. Here is the result. I peeled two large ginger roots, cut them into small cubes, and put them in the pressure cooker with heavily sugared water. The traditional method first boils the ginger in plain water to soften it and then again in sugar water to candy it. The resulting candy was very tender but still with the characteristic ginger texture. It was also sweet without being overpowering. The traditional method leaves a lot of sugar crystallized around the ginger. The pressure cooker gives a much more subtle result. The ginger stays moist even after it cools but you can dry it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. That inspired me to dip it in chocolate. While I was in the b

Miami: Shorty's BBQ

The Widens introduced me to another Miami favorite, Shorty's BBQ. We had three different meats: brisket, ribs, and chicken. All were excellent. I would say the brisket was my favorite, which was was fork tender and moist. Shorty's is best known around town for its piquant sauce. In the photo, the top sauce is a standard red, sweet BBQ sauce.  The bottom container holds Shorty's special BBQ sauce.  It was great---the highlighted spice is, I believe, cumin.  The sauce is of a lighter color than the sweet sauce, so there are other things going on as well; I suspect it has less sugar. I love cumin because it tweaks the palate in a different way than many spices.  I loved this sauce so much I ate it by the spoonful.  Bill and I agreed that this sauce is reminscent of the sauce from Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City.