The Real Chow Baby Atlanta Reviews
Eclectic Stir Fry Dec 04, 2011
My dad and stepmother brought me and my friend here during my recent visit to Atlanta. They swore by it, though I was a bit skeptical. I'm ordinarily not a huge fan of stir fry, because in my mind, it's always the same stuff: a few carrots, some broccoli, some rice and beef topped with some soy sauce and that's about it, right?
Well, fortunately for me, Chow Baby isn't your ordinary stir fry restaurant.
Here's how it works: After ordering drinks at your table, your server gives you a wooden stick with your table number that you write your name on. You take that stick with you as you join the line (usually pretty long) for the stir fry bar so you can create your own, customized stir fry meal.
You start with an empty black bowl and put as many veggies and toppings as you want. And Chow Baby has quite a variety of veggies, condiments and sauces. Then once you're done with that, you get a smaller bowl for raw meats and spices. You can choose raw sausage, scallops, beef, chicken, eggs and more. The spices are also plentiful. :)
Finally, you take both bowls over to the area where the cooks are. By this time, you should've inserted the wooden stick with your name on it in one of the bowls (usually the black one); if you haven't you do so before you drop the bowls off. Then you go back to your table, and once your food is prepared, a server will bring the results to your table. Bon appetit! :)
It's an all you can eat place, so once you're done with one bowl, you can go back and make another. However, the bowls are usually very filling, since you put so much stuff into it, so I didn't see many people making repeated trips. lol
I ended up making two trips. Don't ask me to remember everything I put in my bowls - I threw all kinds of stuff in (noodles, cabbage, onions, peppers, minced garlic, cheese, jalapenos and a hell of a lot more). The first bowl I made was great! It was spicy and very flavorful, and the roti bread I had with that bowl (an extra 99 cents) was a great complement. The second bowl I had wasn't as good though, because I tried a different sauce, meat and spice combination that lacked the punch of the first bowl. Oh well, it was still good.
I had never been to a place like this before, and I was very glad that I tried it out. The all-you-can-eat dine-in option cost $12.99 for dinner, and the same option for lunch was $8.99. These options were the best, but if you want a take out bowl, you can make one, also for $8.99. Add-ons to the bowl include roti bread, salmon ($1.99) and shrimp ($1.99). To get the add ons, you stick a special colored marker in your bowl and the chefs will add the food for you.
My sole complaint is that I wish there was a way to sample some of the sauces and spices they had before adding them to my bowl. Their sauces and spices were unique, and I really had no way of knowing how they would taste until my bowl was served to me. They should have a way so diners could sample some of that stuff so they know what they're getting in to.
I highly recommend going to Chow Baby (or The Real Chow Baby, as it's officially called) if you're in Atlanta. There are several locations, and if they're anything like the one I went to, it will be extremely busy at dinner time. So if you go, try to get there earlier in the evening, and be patient in the slow moving queue. The food is well worth the wait, as long you don't fuck up your bowl. :P
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