Review: Food Terminal signals Buford Highway’s next era | Atlanta food and restaurant blog | The Blissful Glutton

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Review: Food Terminal signals Buford Highway’s next era

posted on June 3, 2017 at 9:04 am
Food Terminal’s main dining room looks more like an upscale food hall. PHOTOGRAPH BY IAIN BAGWELL

Food Terminal’s main dining room looks more like an upscale food hall.
PHOTOGRAPH BY IAIN BAGWELL

I’ve been dining at restaurants along Buford Highway all my life. In the late 1990s, when I was in my early 20s, I ate fried Vietnamese spring rolls wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves at the now-closed Bien Thuy; Chinese dumplings slick with red chili oil at Little Szechuan; and halim, a sinus-clearing cardamom- and cumin-spiced lentil soup, at the Bangladeshi restaurant Panahar. (It earned bonus points for its location next to late-night disco bowling alley FunTime.) “BuHi” was the culinary embodiment of the international city that Atlanta always billed itself to be. But by 2005, when I returned home after finishing culinary school in California, Buford Highway’s growth had stagnated. Vibrant communities were taking root elsewhere, where rents were cheaper. I had to trek to Suwanee if I wanted to try the latest ramen hotspot or to Tucker for my tacos al vapor.

Now BuHi is having another moment. New York’s famed food cart, the Halal Guys, which is now a global chain, chose Buford Highway for its first Atlanta opening in January. The Asian Square shopping center has revived itself with the 2014 opening of Mamak, one of this magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants in the city, and then a supermarket with an adjoining food court just last year.

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