TheDoctor called and invited me to lunch with a friend in from Chicago, Paulio. He suggested Quang, which both of them have eaten at previously, but I had only heard people talk about it. Thankfully, those people I’ve heard talk about Quang have all said really good things about it. Of COURSE I was game. Don’t be silly.
It’s much bigger inside than I pictured, so there’s plenty of seating and most of the seating was full during the lunch hour. That’s always a good sign. I perused the menu and was forced to decide between the noodle dishes and the Pho. Both sounded delicious at the moment, but I was leaning heavily towards the Bun Thit, Cha Gio - Grilled Beef and Egg Roll Salad. I discarded the other 10 options I was considering, and got the Egg Roll Salad (number 310).
The food didn’t take long to appear, which was good since I was starving. The sauce/dressing thing the waitress brought out didn’t offend my senses, so I dumped it all over the salad, which had strips of beef, the egg roll, kind of a cucumber/carrot salad, some cilantro and crushed peanuts served on a bed of vermicelli noodles. Everything in there was fresh-tasting and crunchy (minus the noodles, which you want floppy). Seriously, this is one of the better Vietnamese dishes I’ve had. I actually ordered exactly what I wanted and it was perfect. That doesn’t always happen.
I tried a bite of TheDoctor’s Com Ga Xao - lemongrass caramelized chicken. It was also really good. Right up there with the Egg Roll Salad. Paulio said it best when he said the flavors of the two dishes don’t exactly work well together, but we both agreed the next time we went to Quang, we’d both be getting… wait for it… just what TheDoctor ordered. (I’ve been waiting forever to use that…)
I’ve always been a fan of Saigon (in Uptown) for Vietnamese, but now I think I’ve been converted. Although word on the street is there’s an even better Vietnamese restaurant in St. Paul – Trieu Chau. It’s on the list officially now and I’ll let you know what I think (obviously).
Top 5 things about Quang
1. Bun Thit, Cha Gio- Grilled beef and egg roll salad (yes, even though the word “salad” is in it)
2. Com Ga Xao- Caramelized lemon grass chicken
3. You can get full for under ten dollars here
4. The menu is really large, so you’ll be able to find something here AND there are photos for some things
5. It’s a very short drive from my house for awesome Vietnamese food. wurd.
Bottom 5 things
1. Soooo many delicious looking things on the menu to decide from
2. I was confused that they brought out the sauce long before our food. I almost ate it like soup
3. There really were no bad things about Quang, to be honest
4. I almost made Paulio choke when an ill-timed wise crack forced water into his lungs – sorry, brother
5. We were forced to talk about Avatard (intentional typo, btw)