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Tag: chinese

Vegan Dumplings & more at Gu’s Bistro in Krog Street Market

gu's bistro - home of vegan dumplings

About a week ago, we finally wandered into Krog Street Market for the first time to finally experience the vegan dumplings at Gu’s Bistro. Gu’s is a Szechuan spot that used to have a location up on the international food mecca, Buford Highway. We had already heard so many good things, it was just a matter of remembering to go there rather than default routing to our normal spots.

First, a little about Krog Street Market. It’s right off the Beltline, a fairly new mixed use path in Atlanta, and they are fully prepared. There is a ton of bike parking. And when we went by on a Saturday much of it was in use. Love to see that! As we walked in, it looked like seating could be a problem. But after making a lap to see what was there, we saw that there were seats further in.

Gu’s Bistro is what we decided to get. Of course, the vegan dumplings were going to have to happen. But we were hungry and needed more. We decided to get one tofu dish and one vegetable dish. I had to steal Kevin’s photo of the dishes because mine of the dumplings and green beans were just a blurry smear.

gu's vegan dumplings stringbeans and ma la tofu skin

The dumplings were swimming in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce. It’s delicious but it’s also a little oily. File this one under occasional food.

vegan ma la tofu skin

There were a couple of tofu options, but we chose the Ma La Sliced Tofu Skin, a cold dish. When someone says tofu skin to me, I picture Inari, the slightly sweet sushi. But this had a completely different texture. Like noodles but a little more rubbery. Don’t let my poor description put you off. We destroyed these.

We’d heard the lotus root was really good, but I felt like we needed something green, because I’m annoying like that. So we got the string beans. Also tasty. Plus, all this food was very chopstick friendly. I hate it when everything is cut small and you feel like you’re picking up one pea at a time. These dishes enable you to shovel large quantities into your face at a time, even if you aren’t a native chopstick user.

Now, this was not a cheap meal. I think everything you see here came to around $29. I’m not saying it isn’t worth it, but it’s definitely some thing to keep in mind. I’m sure the rent in Krog Street Market is out of control. Still, I’m looking forward to going back and trying the other tofu dish and lotus root.

 

Dumplings and Hunan Salmon

Maybe it’s all the years of Chinese food being one of the few vegan options when eating out, but now it generally isn’t my first choice when eating out. I don’t hate it or even dislike it, I guess I’m just not excited by it. I like Thai, Vietnamese and Korean much better.

But we still go out for Chinese and it’s still good. This time we headed to Green Sprout to celebrate J.J.’s graduation. We started off with steamed dumplings. They were okay, but I like Harmony’s and Chinese Buddha’s better.

And I had Hunan Salmon. It’s vegan salmon, duh, lightly battered and deep fried with a nice assortment of vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, it was good and I was happy to eat it and the leftovers. But like most Chinese food I just can’t get excited about it.

Harmony Vegetarian

Harmony Vegetarian has been around for a long time. I think I’ve been going here since I moved to Atlanta in 1998. They have an extensive menu with all sorts of fake meats. I’m a big fan of the Kung Pao Chicken, sometimes I’ll get one of the veggie fish dishes, but this night, hanging out with the awesome Saluzzis of Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe fame, I was craving soup. Right, so, I make soup at home and apparently haven’t had enough so I’ve got to eat it out too. Wait, I’m skipping ahead. First I started off with a Chinese Pizza (scallion pancake.) Harmony’s is full of extra-fried goodness. If someone told me they deep-fried these, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Now, back to that soup. Not just any soup, but Ham Noodle Soup. Smoky ham, broccoli, carrots and noodles in broth. In a huge bowl. I always have leftovers. Yay! Okay, so there’s a weird quirk about ordering this. You might think you’d find it under “soups” on the menu. You would be wrong. It’s in the back of the menu under “noodles.” There are other noodle soups there too if you aren’t into the ham.

 

Vegan Lunch Group at Harmony Vegetarian

This Sunday was the monthly gathering for our Atlanta Vegan Activity Group. Sometimes we have potlucks and sometimes we go to restaurants. This month we headed to Harmony Vegetarian for Chinese food. It’s on Buford Highway, so if you’re not normally in the area it’s a good time to hit up the ethnic groceries for specialized ingredients.

I knew when I got up Saturday morning and it was finally feeling like Fall that I was going to be all about getting soup at Harmony. The craving stayed with me until Sunday, so I got the Ham Noodle Soup. And it was exactly what I wanted. Nice broth, pink hammy chunks, veggies and oodles of noodles.

Kevin can’t get out of there without a Chinese Pizza. Here he’s finishing it up with his General Tso’s Chicken in the background. The nice thing about our main vegan/vegan-friendly Chinese restaurants, Harmony, Green Sprout and Chinese Buddha, is that they all offer brown rice as an option. Also for Atlanta folks, Ashley has put together a new website for Atlanta vegans: veganatlanta.com. Check it out for information on the upcoming picnic in the park.  

Tour of Buford Highway

Saturday I hit a couple of ethnic markets on Buford Highway in addition to my regular weekly visit to the DeKalb Farmers Market. A lot of this stuff you can get in the regular grocery store, but it’s much cheaper here. Plus there are random things that can be hard to find like a jar of mole with a screw top lid you can re-close. So here’s my haul from the Hispanic market: enchilada sauce, hominy, refried beans with chipotle, habeño sauce, ready to serve mole in a cool aseptic container, refried black beans, chipotle sauce, marinated cactus, mole with a screw top lid, a small jar of chipotle in adobo and a big stack of corn tortillas. Not pictured: butternut squash, shallots, onions, and a serrano. mexican groceries Next, Atlanta’s Farmers Market, which also has Hispanic goods, but I was headed there for the Asian stuff. Here I picked up a couple of different rice stick noodles and some bean threads, mock duck, coconut milk, rice seasoning, vegetarian steak, coconut cream, pepper corns (I’m pretty sure these are the things also known as Szechwan pepper corns) and fermented black beans. Not pictured: two different sizes/shapes of rice papers. asian groceries Seems like I’m missing some items. I’m not gonna post the rest as it’s just normal rice milk, soy milk, apples, coffee, etc. I’m not sure why I bought all this stuff. I don’t have room for it. 🙂 

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