September 25, 2009
Ngon Vietnamese Bistro
Today I had lunch at the Ngon Vietnamese Bistro on University Avenue in St. Paul. Amazing! Just amazing. Not because of place, style or trendiness, but because it really tastes authentic. I was surprised by the flavor in the eggrolls. Vietnamese eggrolls to me are the best of all traditions. They are like stir fries in tube, or scandinavian hotdishes, in that everyone makes them slightly different, based on what they like and what they have on hand, yet they all remind you of your favorite comfort food. I've tried eggrolls all over the city and find the vietnamese eggrolls the most flavorful. And I happen to have been spoiled by having in-depth trainining by a close vietnamese friend on how to make them. Each time I asked her how to make the eggrolls, she told me something different. You see, it's not defined by specific ingredients as much as it is by the muse. Kind of like poetry to the taste buds. That's authentic. And in this restaurant, the muse rules. The eggrolls have the flavor!
And for the main course, I had the BÃ¡nh XÃ¨o, a traditional street vendor comfort food in Saigon...It's a Vietnamese crepe with scallops, bean sprouts, mango chutney, & a locally grown greens salad. I've had different versions of this also, but on this one the chutney is absolutely fantastic.
A quirk? They play vinyl record albums, have a bar with great wines, beers and other good stuff. They also have an outdoor patio and a bicycle rack in back to lock up your bike. Unfortunately, today it was raining so I did not experience the patio. But next trip... Overall, my visit was not what I expected. It was better.
Here is their info...Ngon Vietnamese Bistro
I loved it.