Tucked into the Buford Highway Plaza is Co’m Grill. There’s not actually an apostrophe, but rather the “o” is a Vietnamese accent glyph that I don’t know how to create on the keyboard. Apparently neither do they, because on their website they use Co’m. And, since apostrophes are not permitted in URLs, it also goes by plain Com Grill as well.
Anyway… Adam and I popped in for an early lunch. The service was very friendly and attentive. The inside was also done up very nicely for being what I consistently call a “strip joint.” As in a place in a strip shopping center. Apparently I’m trying to coin a food blogging catchphrase here. Anyway (again)… it was nice, and the dim and cozy atmosphere lends itself to being a decent date location, though I saw several people dining alone, too.
|A quickly stolen shot of the interior space.|
After some hemming and hawing – everything looked great – we started with an appetizer: Ha noi fresh basil spring rolls with peanut sauce ($3.95). They were delicious, but a mistake, because the entrees were so big. If you want to order an appetizer in addition to these generously-sized entrees, you had better come to Co’m with your A-game.
|Ha noi fresh basil spring rolls with peanut sauce. So delicious.|
Our entrees came with support plates of veggies and sauces, which arrived at our table several minutes prior to our main dishes, giving us plenty of fantasize about the meal ahead.
|My pho accoutrements.|
|Adam’s rolls. Off-screen is basically an entire head of lettuce.|
I ordered lamb pho ($8.95) and a complimentary (on the weekend) iced expresso. And Adam ordered flat rice vermicelli with grape leaf duck rolls ($14.95). I’ll be honest… we had no idea what we were ordering with that second one. About half the menu involves rice vermicelli, either in flat or bun form. So we ordered blindly, but we were rewarded.
The flat rice vermicelli is, actually, exactly what it sounds like. Vermicelli rice is cooked in such a way that it is a) flat and b) dense enough to be cut into pieces and shoved into wraps. Our waitress kindly explained everything on our plates and how to eat this interesting meal. It basically went like so: Pull off a good-sized pice of lettuce and toss some shredded carrot, radish, and/or cucumber on it. Select a pice of flat rice and one or two pieces of duck roll. Wrap up tightly and dip in the red pepper dipping sauce/dressing/omg good stuff. For having red pepper, it was a surprisingly light and crisp dressing, that complimented the duck perfectly without making this large meal seem any heavier.
|The grape leaf-wrapped duck rolls, cut resting on a bed of flat vermicelli rice. Mmmm.|
|My lamb pho.|
Confession: I was actually kind of let down by my pho. I feel really bad saying that, because it’s clear that Co’m is well-loved by many and considered to be authentic. I don’t know if it’s because I put in too many thai basil leaves, if I’ve had too many Americanized phos, if I just have poor taste in pho, or if it really wasn’t very good. I seem to remember really enjoying the pho at Nam Phuong (coming up very soon!!!) in the past. So, I don’t know what happened. But the duck was amazing, so don’t let my pho problems get ya down.
My inital inclination was to give Co’m a 3, but Adam had a convincing argument that was on the nose and that I think needs to be shared: “Even though the food was pretty much average, they get the .5 for atmosphere, cleanliness, and taking the time to explain to my white ass how to eat my food.” Well said, babe. 3.5 stars– check it out sometime!
Co’m Grill Restaurant
4005 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30345