It was a normal Wednesday, trying to get through the hump, when a coworker suggested we trek to Buford Highway to try one of her favorite restaurants, North Chinese Eatery. You know it’s authentic when the “website” is the menu on Urbanspoon. I read Anthony Bourdain’s review before going so I had a hunch as to what I was in for. My coworker is a regular at this place, so I knew I was in for a treat. As we sit down, the waitress greets the four of us with a fresh pot of hot tea, cups, and saucers.
The large menu was a bit ambitious, so I put my faith (and hunger) in the hands of my coworker, Jessica. J picked a few of her favorite go-to’s on the menu for us to share (and a few more for the table). I don’t know about you, but the first time at a restaurant I have a hard time judging how much food to order. Do you base it on the price? The description? A recommendation from the waiter? I usually chose the latter, but mainly because it’s an easy default ;)
Dan dan noodles, steamed juicy buns filled with pork, fried shrimp dumplings, and kung pao chicken with vegetables (pictured above). J attempted to explain the portion sizes, but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. We devoured the juicy buns by poking a hole in the top, letting the juice fill into the flat spoon and enjoying the buns in two phases: the broth and the BUN. The dan dan noodles are a classic rendition of a thai peanut sauce–one of my favorite things. Fyi: they are served cold, but the peanut sauce is hot. Another coworker ordered the plate of Kung Pao chicken: hot peppers, carrots, zucchini, and onions surrounded the saucy chicken. Lucky for me, we had plenty of food left over.
It’s hard to be as good at home as in the restaurant, but the dumplings, bun, chicken, and noodles made an excellent meal later. The plate came very close to as good as the first eating. Check out this small dive next time you’re in the area. If this eatery is good enough for Anthony Bourdain, it’s good enough for me.