Sweet Chili Wontons and Crispy "Tiger" Sprouts

Ba Bellies – Norcross, Georgia

Fresh Factor 6

Out of 10

I’ve been hitting up Norcross hard lately. My latest stop was Ba Bellies near Peachtree Corners. Described as an Asian gastropub, and affiliated with the delicious Vietnamese restaurant, Nam Phuong, also in Norcross, it basically sounded like heaven on earth to me. However, they inexplicably only serve brunch on both Saturday and Sunday (instead of lunch), so brunch it was.

The brunch menu was a bit odd. Since Ba Bellies had been described by others as fusion cuisine, I expected to find traditional brunch dishes spiked with Asian flavors. But what I actually saw were some menu items that sounded purely American, and others that were purely Asian.

Needless to say I went for the Asian dishes ‘cause I can get a waffle anywhere. Some of the items I saw on the brunch menu online were not on the menu we were given in the restaurant, while others that weren’t on the brunch menu online made an appearance on the physical brunch menu – so expect to be surprised by the menu if you go. I went with the Crispy “Tiger” Sprouts and the Sweet Chili Wontons.

Sweet Chili Wontons and Crispy "Tiger" Sprouts

Sweet Chili Wontons and Crispy “Tiger” Sprouts

Based on the description of the sprouts, I was anticipating something that resembled a tangy Vietnamese salad. In actuality, they were just glazed, roasted brussel sprouts. They tasted fine and there was nothing wrong with them, I was just expecting to see more ingredients based on what was listed on the menu. In fact, I’m pretty sure that they did not contain everything listed. All I saw and tasted were brussel sprouts in my bowl, no mint, basil or thai chile as the menu suggested.

As for the wontons, they were sweet and had a nice chewy yet soft mouth feel, but again the taste was just fine. Nothing like the amazing Gu’s Dumplings, which they sort of resembled visually. My Ba Bellies Vietnamese iced coffee was quite tasty, though, even if it was a bit small for my liking and filled with a disproportionate amount of ice.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

My dining companion got the fried rice and loved it, so don’t shun this place on my account. (She did describe her blackberry-sage lemonade as both too tart and too sweet though.)

Fried Rice

Fried Rice

Blackberry-Sage Lemonade

Blackberry-Sage Lemonade

There wasn’t really anything wrong with Ba Bellies, it just didn’t tantalize my soul like so many of the other great Asian restaurants we have in the Atlanta area. I’d try it again, though, just to see if any of their other menu items are more enticing. Also, our server was extremely nice and didn’t mind that my friend and I sat there for a good three hours talking, so bonus points for that!

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