The Vitals:
the spot: Lee’s Bakery 4005 Buford Highway NE Ste C Atlanta GA 30345
the eats: Large Combination Pho, Grilled Pork Sandwich
the bucks: $10.25, $3.75 respectively
the full nelson: the definition of why Vietnamese joints are Cheap Eats havens

Upon my initial research into Atlanta for Cheap Eats, I knew I was going to have to make a stop at Buford Highway. The legendary drag is home to tacos, sushi, dumplings. curries, Korean food beyond BBQ and so much more. It got me a little nostalgic for my LA days where an immense diversity of food cultures can be unlocked with the power of the automobile. It was a challenge to single out one cuisine for my inaugural Buford Highway feast, but it had been a minute since I had some good pho and all it takes is a google search to know that Lee’s Bakery Atlanta tops many lists.

Lee’s Bakery Atlanta is a straight to the point kinda place. Expect a bit of a wait and the service one finds at a crowded diner. For those looking to get their first introduction to Vietnamese cuisine, it would be helpful to bring in a friend who knows the ropes. No matter how you start your experience at Lee’s Bakery, it all comes down to this:

One big ass bowl of Pho. I mean, this was just absurdly large. Loaded with thin cuts of beef, tripe and tendon, priced at a little over $10 and enough for a family of four, the XL Combination beef Pho is no doubt some serious Bang for your Vietnamese Food Buck. Being the adventurous foodie that I am, I went for the nasty bits like intestine. But if you’re of the more timid type, you can omit the offal or even go with the chicken pho. Thing about great Pho is that it’s all about the broth. I have no doubt they spend hours and hours making the broth. I would have asked but I decided to throw one of these back . . .

If you saw Cheap Eats Kansas City, then you will have seen me take down a Bahn Mi, at least a variation of the Vietnamese sandwich staple. A good French Baguette can handle more than just brie, like pork marinated in sugar, lime, lemongrass and fish sauce. Throw on some pickled carrot and daikon and you have a sweet, salty, sour and spicy sandwich, and all those flavors stay in balance too. I also threw this sandwich back because it cost me $3.75. Cheap Eats just don’t get any cheaper.

Lee’s Bakery Atlanta has some tempting combos where you can pair half orders of Pho with their Bahn Mi sandwiches and you can certainly opt for the medium sized Pho and get in and out for under $8. But if you want to experience why Vietnamese restaurants are notorious for Cheap Eats, you gotta go big with the XL Pho. I think I ate it for two other meals and I went at it hard at the restaurant. Largest bowl I have ever been served while dining out, save for a table side Caesar salad, and no doubt some serious Bang for your Pho Buck. If you live in the ATL or you’re visiting, I’d make Lee’s Bakery Atlanta a must stop.

Until next time Cheap Eaters  . . . keep it cheap and eat well!

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