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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

July 23, 2021

Where the Industry Eats: The Crunkleton’s Ryan Hart

This drink connoisseur seeks out the best Asian cuisine in town

Folks in the restaurant industry know good food, so we want to know where they eat when they’re not cooking. In this series, we ask a local chef, bartender, restaurateur, or waiter to share their favorite restaurants in town and what they order there. This week, we interview Ryan Hart, bar manager at The Crunkleton and partner of Cheat’s Cheesesteak Parlor. Hart, an expert bartender, knows some of the best local Asian eateries. 

Eddie’s Place, Cotswold
Casual eatery and bar with a beloved all-day breakfast
Ryan’s order: Corned beef reuben
Pro tip: “Grab some Asian pot stickers, the legendary she crab soup, and/or a quesadilla with chips and salsa, just because you can,” Hart says. 

Open Rice, Ballantyne
An innovative dining experience specializing in different Chinese traditions
Ryan’s order: Hong Kong style roasted duck
Pro tip: “I live nowhere close to this restaurant, but regularly make the trek to share the duck with my fiancée,” Hart says. “It’s impossibly good and makes me literally laugh out loud after each bite.”

Phở Hóa Noodle Soup, Plaza Midwood
A chain spot offering a wide variety of pho and other Vietnamese specialties
Ryan’s order: Mì Quảng (a Vietnamese noodle dish) 

Honey Bun’s Cafeteria, Independence Blvd.
A small Vietnamese restaurant that specializes in banh mi, boba and more inside of Super G Market
Ryan’s order: Vietnamese pork steam buns

New Zealand Cafe, Matthews
A small restaurant with a joint focus on dishes from New Zealand and Japan
Ryan’s order: Uni with quail egg

More from this series

The Fig Tree’s Greg Zanitsch
Yafo’s Shai Fargian
Jimmy Pearls’ Daryl Cooper
Sam Diminich of Your Farms, Your Table


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