Every Saturday morning, I go to the new Freedom Farmer’s Market at The Carter Center to visit my favorite farmer Woodland Gardens. Even though Woodland is my primary reason for visiting (their veggies are tops), I’ve become a fan of the entire market because there are so many other awesome vendors there.
Star Provisions sells breads and enormous egg sandwiches with wilted greens stuffed into a personal sized baguette. There’s coffee from 1000 faces, cool chef pop-ups, treats from Little Tart, local ducks, pork from Riverview, and the gorgeous pastries from Cakes & Ale.
I normally get the Kougin Amann, but these cherry pies were calling to me even though I am trying to avoid such sinful treats. I was pleasantly surprised how flaky they were despite the level of humidity from the rain. The filling was sweetened just enough to enhance the flavors of the juicy cherries without making it cloying. These are a must buy if you see it at the market or at the shop.
You’ll notice that Tasty China is missing from my Bliss List, which if you know how much I love Tasty China is CRAZY. But here’s the thing: I like Gu’s Bistro so much more right now. And it’s more convenient for where I live. The minute I give into my bad cravings — I also refer to it as my inner 17 year old boy in the middle of a growth spurt– I am at Gu’s (or the General Muir).
My current favorites are the searingly spicy dried tofu skins covered in a slick of bright red oil. The thick and chewy salty, sweet, spicy, and chewy cold Chengdu noodles are comfort food even if you grew up in the West. The large flat pork filled Zhong style dumplings are tender and the broth like sauce they come in readies the gullet for what’s to come. I am obsessed with their pork and dried bean curd. Something about the texture and the chew of all of that protein brightened by cilantro and mellowed with sweet pan roasted sliced garlic is just so soothing. Balls of cantaloupe, fried shrimp, and huge walnuts covered in a slick of sweet white glaze is so good and so weird. Even the dry-fried eggplant is better here than the recently leaden version I have had at Tasty China.
Need more of a reason to pay Gu’s a visit? They have the best craft beer selection I have ever seen on Buford Highway. I am really looking forward to their upcoming dumpling and small plate shop in Krog Street Market this Fall.
Vitals: 5750 Buford Hwy. NE, Doraville, 770-451-8118. www.gusbistro.com.