Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eating Out For Good Karma

Doc Chey’s Noodle House is one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. Their menu features Asian dishes influenced by China, Japan, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam cuisines, and has something that appeals to every palate. We took the guys there when they were younger because they have kid-friendly menu items (high chairs, boosters, crayons and special kid-friendly chopsticks didn’t hurt either!) We have been regular diners ever since.

Doc Chey’s is the “brainchild” of Rich Chey who set out to “bring noodles to the people” when he opened the first Doc Chey’s in the Virginia Highland area of Atlanta in 1997. Osteria 832 Pizza & Pasta in the Virginia Highland neighborhood is also a member of Chey’s “HomeGrown Restaurant Concepts.” Customers of Chey’s restaurant are familiar with Chey’s concept of karma. In an interview with Creative Loafing’s Cliff Bostock in earlier this year, Chey said, “A big part of what I talk about with my kids and my team is the concept of karma - what goes around comes around. We give back to the communities we serve because it is the right thing to do and we do it with no expectations of receiving something in return. My hope is that nurturing this attitude of ‘being of service’ in my staff and my kids will help them “pay it forward” in every aspect of their lives.”

Chey’s HomeGrown restaurants offer free “Karma cards” which give customers incentives to come back. HomeGrown Restaurant Concepts also gives back to the local community through its charity fund HomeGrown Charities, which has raised over $100,000 for Atlanta non-profit organizations since inception.

In the spirit of good karma, Chey’s HomeGrown Charities has teamed up with the Atlanta Red Cross to sponsor “Dine Out for Red Cross” to help the thousands of families in Georgia and the southeast have been left homeless and suffering in the wake of spring’s natural disasters. Every Wednesday in July, participating Atlanta-area restaurants will donate 15 percent of their dinner sales. “With the recent tragedies across the southeast including our neighbors in Alabama we wanted to do something to help out,” said Chey. “Organizing Dine Out for ARC seems like the best way for our guests to help and give back as well.” Helping is as easy as eating dinner.

You can be assured that we will be there. Regular readers of our blog know that I will be ordering from the “Street Food” section of the menu! The Korean beef tacos are my addiction. Made with flank steak with Korean barbecue sauce, pickled vegetables, napa cabbage, scallions and sesame seeds, they are absolutely irresistible. While I am not sure how they cook the steak to give it such a velvety texture, Rich Chey and his team shared their recipe for their Korean BBQ sauce (just in time for the July 4th weekend of grilling!!)

1 cup sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 1/2 cups Gochujang (Korean Red Pepper Paste)

Add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir together using a whisk. Mix thoroughly to completely dissolve the sugar. Transfer to storage container, label (it's a good idea to date it as well) and refrigerate. To serve, toss the cooked flank steak in the sauce then add to taco shells with the other ingredients.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Wednesdays in July to Dine Out for Red Cross and good karma!

*Gochujang is a fermented (and pungent) Korean condiment. Gochujang is available in Asian grocery stores. (Click here for a recipe for a homemade version if you are feeling brave.)
Doc Chey's Noodle House on Urbanspoon


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