The List: Lee's Bakery
If I had more margin in both time and my caloric intake, I would write a blog on exploring restaurants and eating every fine dish on Buford Highway. Buford Highway has such an enormous array of international treats, so if you haven't had a chance to explore, you could hardly do better than the casual Vietnamese spot, Lee's Bakery. In Lee's own words, "We have been in Atlanta for over 10 years. We are best Banh Mi and the cheap lunch place for everyone can hang out."
Sounds promising, no? I was anticipating a Cheers-like environment "for everyone can hang out."
Um. Not so much.
The atmosphere is more akin to a typical bakery where everyone's been up since before daybreak and they'd really like you to get on with your ordering! Like so many places where the menu items are unfamiliar, it helps to read up on what you want to order before walking up to the cashier. I was there before things got busy and the staff was STILL brusk with me. (Soup Nazi anyone?)
Part of my confusion stemmed from the fact that I was expecting The List dish to be a Bahn Mi (which is a Vietnamese sandwich, like the fabulous one I devoured at Quoc Huong), but it was a Banh Xeo (which is like a Vietnamese crepe). This is not a typical "to go" order and seemed to throw things off. Still, they packed up a bag with lettuce, cilantro, mint, and their secret sauce.
I didn't know such deliciousness existed!
The crepe batter contained shrimp and pork and then it was wrapped around bean sprouts. I had NO idea how to eat this with the lettuce and herbs, so I ended up making my own version of lettuce wraps.
What a mess! What a treat!
If eating this way is wrong, I don't want to be right!
If you haven't explored Buford Highway, if you don't know about Lee's, if you couldn't care less about Creative Loafing's challenge, or if Bahn Xeo is new to you, make this YOUR week to swing by and get this dish.
My picture doesn't do the food justice, but you'll be thanking me later.