the classic city

a couple of weekends ago phillip and i had the wonderful opportunity to return to my college town of athens, ga.  the occasion, yes, did revolve around georgia football, but we made the most of the weekend by visiting some places home to my fondest memories while i was in school.

we had driven in town friday night to soak up every minute of athens we could, and since we hadn’t stopped for dinner on our drive in, the first order of business was some food at none other than the famous keba.  we both ordered double lamb sandwiches with fries as the side, and i think it was the quietest meal we’d had in a while because we were enjoying it all so much!  keba did have a location in atlanta for a bit (with the great taste of the original), but it shut down and i’ve of course been craving it ever since.  it was a perfect start to what would become a pretty perfect weekend.

pure joy.

we cleared our table and drove over to nathan and samantha’s house.  i’ve known nathan since college when, as freshmen, we met in the redcoat marching band.  he and samantha have lived in athens for several years now and always are kind to open their home to friends and family.  it’s not often we get to see them, so it was a special treat to catch up on life and football and everything in between.  we did plenty of that especially the next morning over coffee and bagels (which we brought from emerald city in east atlanta) before nathan, phillip, and i drove to campus to join in on the gameday experience.  it was an extra special occasion because it was our homecoming weekend against kentucky, and even though it rained nonstop all day, the bulldog nation still showed up nicely to support the team.

nathan had redcoat duties, so phillip and i donned our ponchos and took a sloshy walk through north campus.  as i imagine many graduates do when they are visiting their old stomping grounds, i pointed out to phillip all the different buildings and where i had class and which lobbies were the best for napping.  the rain couldn’t keep our cheery demeanor down, especially once we arrived at the arch, because taking a picture under the arch is always something to smile about.  🙂

hungry for a bite, we shuffled into the taco stand.  now, i did not do a lot of downtown eating when i was in college, but one spot i frequented was the taco stand, especially when my younger brother clark visited, as it was his absolute favorite spot in town.  phillip and i lucked out with a couple of stools at the bar, so we de-layered, ordered chips and salsa and a couple of beers, and enjoyed the gameday atmosphere.

Continue reading

pho king – atlanta, ga

is it just me, or has it been nearly a lifetime since we did a restaurant review?  you’re absolutely correct, my dear.  the last spot we wrote about was the infamous guest blog by my father for bone garden cantina back in july, so, yes!  it’s been too long!  i decided to finally put an end to the madness, which is how we found ourselves last week at pho king just a few miles down peachtree.

phillip <3s pho!

phillip

for whatever reason, i’d been craving vermicelli desperately, so it’s no surprise what i would end up ordering.  however, no one else at the table except kyle and i had enjoyed vietnamese cuisine before that night, which means there was lots of fun in store.

as everyone flipped back and forth among the menu’s pages, i took in the atmosphere around me.  pho king looks like a small new york joint from outside, but you’ll actually find some decent seating once you walk through the front doors.  although i felt a bit cramped between kyle and alison, it could have just been the 20 million plates and bowls that would come to crowd me.  sure, we’ll go with that.

IMG_20151007_200913

however, that argument may be hard to make when your big brother is all up in your grill.  hey, bro!

IMG_20151007_200336

after i looked at the picture and had my fill of laughs, the classic song “private eyes” came to mind right away.  you’re welcome.

meanwhile, kari, phillip, and nathan were just whoopin’ it up on the other side of the table.  those little troublemakers.  🙂

okay, okay, enough about us (even though i could go on for days), let’s talk food.  first out were the eggrolls and soup.  we all started with something, and as far as the pho is considered, i think the general consensus is that it was a hit and that the bowls were quite large, even the small size!

phillip and i had a small bowl of the pho with brisket.  it came out piping hot and very delicious.  when i inevitably catch my first cold of the winter season, a big bowl of pho just might be the ticket to make me feel better.

p3 - pho with brisket.

p3 – pho with brisket.

kyle’s pho with round steak looked like a renegade after he topped it with fresh jalapenos.  this trooper, though?  he ate the whole bowl and then enjoyed some leftovers that the others of us had.  get it, son!

across and to my right, nathan had the fried rice with marinated tenderloin beef chunks, which was highly recommended to him by our waitress as the best meal on the menu.  it would turn out that there was truth in her statement:  nathan ate up every morsel!  not only did he say he’d get it again, he said, with much enthusiasm, that it was ridiculously good.

across from him and to my immediate right, nathan’s lovely wife alison went with the grilled pork rice plate and thoroughly enjoyed it.  she was a member of the clean plate club that night, no questions about it!

i only got a shot of the aftermath. whoopsies!

i only got a shot of the aftermath. whoopsies!

on my other side, kari tackled a small bowl of the chicken pho, number p7, along with a couple of fried eggrolls, item a2.  i didn’t really get a review from her, but she seemed to like dining out on something a bit different, and i bet with enough persuasion i could convince her to come back.  hehehe, let the planning begin!

across from me, my sweetheart phillip chowed down on menu item r3, the grilled chicken rice plate.  the rice only needed a splash of soy sauce to perfectly accompany the well-cooked and well-seasoned chicken.  although those chicken breasts may not have looked like much, i promise you they filled phillip to the brim.

IMG_20151007_205628

and now, the moment you have all been waiting for, my review!  okay, i know you haven’t been waiting, but i just have to talk about my experience!  let me first get something off my chest:  when i say i love vietnamese food, that really means that i’ve only ever had vermicelli and have been hopelessly devoted to the stuff from the first time i ate it.  my heart will forever be held by this irresistible rice noodle dish, no doubt about it.  the vermicelli here at pho king is on point, a very large and satisfying serving of which i almost ate every chopstick-ful (thank you for letting me make up that word right now).  the grilled pork was to die for, although i did miss the eggroll that the menu said should have come with it.  besides that, each ingredient was complementary to the others, and i spent the better portion of dinner with my face buried in my bowl as i slurped up each bite.

after paying the checks, we rolled out with satisfied, and very full, bellies.  to be honest, there’s absolutely no reason to not come back to pho king, and when the yearning for rice noodles strikes again, you’ll know where to find me.