We haven’t featured any stories from Atlanta’s Buford Highway in a while, so we’re fixing that. It’s Buford Highway Week at Marie, Let’s Eat!, and here’s the first of five chapters about trips we’ve taken to this incredibly popular corridor over the last couple of months.
Back in June, the girlchild was with us on a Saturday evening. We weren’t actually thinking about new blog content. In fact, we just stopped at one of the area’s standards, El Taco Veloz (which I first visited three years ago) and enjoyed some tacos and burritos. The chain, still with six locations in Atlanta and Gainesville, is pretty reliable for good, inexpensive and traditional Mexican food.
We had a good meal and enjoyed some horchata and watched the chaos – this place is almost always busy and yet the staff remains impeccably polite and efficient – and made our way back north. Then I noticed a sign that I’d never seen before, advertising a Chinese restaurant with the terrific name of Spicy Gaga Duck. I think that of all the Buford Highway restaurants out there, this has to have the Buford Highwayiest name! It’s in the space right next door to the wonderful Tempo Doeloe.
While they do have a few tables, the business is much more of a carry-out place than a sit-down restaurant. Most of what they offer are meats by the pound, cooked and prepared in a medium-hot chili sauce, and not dinner portions. For guests who would like to have something to eat there, they do have a few snack-sized portions, cooked to order, which will let you sample the chili sauce. Just about everything is fried and then it’s all drowned. I sampled a couple of skewers of fried chicken along with an order of green beans. Other snack-sized options – nicely priced at between $1 and $3 apiece – include mushrooms, potatoes, eggplant, and tofu. The sauce is not really that hot, but it does overpower the food’s flavor since there is so much of it.
For guests interested in taking portions home, they offer duck feet or wings for about $10 a pound, or they’ll cook a whole or half duck. They also prepare chicken, beef, pork, and some seafood. If you want pigs’ feet for $7.99 a pound, you can get them here.
This is one of the many terrific things about Buford Highway. Appearances can be deceiving, but you can always find incredibly interesting food options here that you don’t see anywhere else in the city. I won’t claim that I was bowled over by the snacks, but I’m very glad this place is here, because there aren’t many other places like it around.
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