Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Eden Restaurant – Eden Prairie, MN

This is a little hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurant in Eden Prairie that I’ve gone to for lunch before. In fact, Gerd would get upset with me because I never took her there for dinner but I talked about going to lunch there fairly regularly. This place is in a strip mall, to be exact, an industrial strip mall, so it’s not even in a retail setting. There’s engineering shops, HR resource companies, and a host of other random industrial shops set up, so I’m guessing Eden Restaurant doesn’t see a lot of the “just walked by your place and thought it looked good” crowd. In fact, it doesn’t even look like a restaurant from the outside, except for the neon open sign in one of the windows.

The service is kind of a buffet style. The menu for the day is handwritten on a dry-erase board before you get to the cafeteria-style serving line. You tell the guy what you want and he arranges it on your plate. You grab drinks and silverware and pay at the end. I ordered the hot and spicy ginger chicken and the chicken and peapods and an egg roll on a bed of half rice/half rice noodles (that’s how I roll). I had to wait a short while as they were just finishing up a new batch of peapods, so I grabbed a table and water and silverware and paid.

A short while later, the food came out and the guy assembled it all on my plate. I WATCHED him do it (this is important). I took my food back to my table and actually remembered to take a photo for you, EnyaFace!

Now what I’m about to tell you only happens to David Copperfield and maybe David Blaine. I started eating waiting to find the noodles that I watched the guy put on my plate and never found them. They seriously vanished. All I got was rice. I’m not complaining at all, since the price I paid would not have included the magic show at any other place. They were just gone. Weirdest thing EVER.

Anyway, the food was good. Not phenomenal, but good. The egg roll, again had some cinnamon in it, but just a touch, so it was still pretty good. And the thing was fried extra crispy, which ruled. My friend DawgMan told me before I went the first time, “You may not like the food, but you’ll definitely get full!” This is true. The food is average, but the portion size is waaaay generous, as you could see from the photo. It’s literally a heap of food on a plate. (And I do actually like the food enough to keep going there, so it can’t be too terrible, right?) I will warn you about the water though – everytime I go here, I get the water. And every time I take my first sip, I think, “Dang, I forgot I’m not supposed to get water here.” The water has a really bad taste to it. It might be because you get it out of a giant igloo container like you’re at a church picnic or something.

Aside from the water, this place is a perfectly good lunch spot. I know you HAVE to be looking for it in an industrial strip mall, so you won’t stumble upon it. But it really is a decent place to eat if you want a super fast lunch and you need to fill up.

Top 5 things about Eden Restaurant
1. Hot & Spicy Ginger Chicken
2. Chicken with Pea Pods
3. Egg Roll
4. REALLY generous portions
5. Disappearing noodles is actually on the TOP 5, not the bottom 5

Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd would have yelled at me when I got home tonight for going there again without her
2. They can turn off the accent like a switch… I’ll just leave it at that…
3. Water tastes bad
4. You can’t recognize the place as a restaurant
5. It’s truly open three hours a day, so I wouldn’t have been able to take Gerd there anyway

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