Georgia’s Best Bento (B.B.Q.) — and, yes, that’s the name — has long been one of those anodyne downtown Asian cafeterias that serves a mixture of ersatz Japanese food and ersatz Chinese food for office workers who exchange $6 for 1,000 calories or so.
But lately the owners have been featuring more and more of their native Korean cooking — perhaps a bid for the Korean-American students at Georgia State.
I decided to give the bi bim bap a try and was glad I did. The owner offered a choice of the regular version in a porcelain bowl or the “hot” in a superheated volcanic stone bowl called a dolsot (pictured). It came out in five minutes, its bed of rice sizzling loudly and topped with a colorful array of fresh and marinated veggies and beef bulgogi (chicken is also available).
How was? Good, if lacking the all-important fried egg on top. The iceberg lettuce at 4 o’clock in the picture seemed a funny budget stretcher. But with a healthy squirt of spicy gochujang and a good stir, I was a happy luncher. The rice touching the surface had crisped up nicely. The last crunchy bits I pried off were like dessert.
This isn’t a bi bim bap to compare with any on Buford Highway, but, hey — it beats another Subway run.
Georgia’s Best Bento (B.B.Q.) is at 50 Broad St., at the corner of Walton.