I watched with much anticipation as Viet Cuisine opened. Not only would it be a Vietnamese spot closer to the center of town, but it was rumored to be run by the same people behind Viet Sandwich! The rumors proved to be true and we popped in for our first (unofficial) visit just after they opened with a group of friends. After giving them some time to settle in, we came back for a review.
We came in for dinner on a quiet night. The place was close to empty when we arrived, just the staff and their small daughter who was dancing along to Frozen tunes playing on a TV up in the corner. They greeted us warmly and turned down the volume as they seated us. I was delighted that they left the Disney playlist up though, and kept bopping along to various songs from my childhood as we ate.
Our server took our drink and appetizer orders as we perused the menu. We started with two sodas and an order of won-tons to split. Eventually, I settled on the meatball pho and my husband opted for the lemongrass chicken. We caught the eye of our server to put in our requests and as as he walked over the young girl joined him and “helped” to take our order.
Our order placed, we started in on our won-tons. Served crispy-crunchy and piping hot, they had a rich, meaty flavor. Despite being fried, they were not greasy. The accompanying sweet and sour sauce was thick and had a slight kick from the red pepper flakes sprinkled throughout.
We finished our won-tons and had just a just-right pause before our entrees came out. That’s when I took in the decor. The restuarant itself is modestly appointed, wall art is in the form of large photos of Vietnamese food, the tables are laminate, and a large refrigerated cooler on the back wall stores drinks. Each table is stocked with sauces and a caddy holding rolled silverware, pho spoons, and chopsticks. I’m still not keen on having the spoons stacked on the table (who knows what other patrons may/may not be doing with them) but let’s chalk that up to my big city roots.
I smelled my pho (shown at the top of the post) before I saw it, and it captured my full attention. My large bowl of broth, meatballs, noodles, and basic vegetables was accompanied by a separate plate piled high with bean sprouts and cilantro. The noodles were thin, firm, and well cooked. The meatballs were very dense with a slightly spongey texture. (Thankfully for me, they stayed clearly on the “dense” side of the equation since “spongey” foods trigger my texture issues.) Small rounds of green onions mingled freely with large slices of red onion, both added a lovely crunch. If I had to pick a star though, it was the broth; light and fresh with an oil slicked sheen but not an oily feel or flavor, it was well balanced and delicious.
The hubby greatly enjoyed his lemongrass chicken. The portioning was perfect and he was using words like “fantastic” and “succulent”. He noted that it was salted just the right amount and that, while billed as spicy, that translated to a mild-medium level that was quite do-able for him.
We both greatly enjoyed our meal at Viet Cuisine. The flavors were fresh, the service was friendly, and the menu broad enough to offer choices but small enough to keep you focused. Devotees of the clay pot should note that they do not offer any at this time. However, they do have a variety of vegetarian dishes and beverage selection which moves beyond the standard soft drinks and tea. We will absolutely be back and I plan to take as many people as I can interest in going. They don’t have much of an online presence, so I’ll also note this–as of today, their hours are 11am-9pm Monday through Saturday.
Total for the meal: $28.00 (Included two entrees, one appetizer, and two soft drinks).