Erin and I had planned to go for a walk after work downtown so Erin could take some photos. Afterward we convinced ourselves that we deserved to go out for dinner. It wasn't a long debate.
We first tried to go to Pho Tau Bay at 28th and Nicollet. I've eaten lunch there twice before with a group of people from work and I thought Erin would like it. We got there and the parking lot was completely empty and the restaurant appeared closed. We had seen Quang a couple blocks north so we decided to head over there instead. I later learned from my coworker that Pho Tau Bay is closed Mondays, Quang is closed Tuesdays, and there is another Vietnamese place nearby that is closed Wednesdays. Some sort of rotation I guess???
We luckily found a parking spot in the small parking lot in front of Quang that they share with a couple other shops that are attached. There were plenty of tables available when we arrived and got sat immediately. I opened the menu (with pictures, nice!) to scan my options. As an aside, I love the simplistic nature of many Asian restaurant menus. Most of the time it's a simple list of the items followed with a number that makes ordering very easy, I love it.
I had gotten a vermicelli salad last time at Pho Tau Bay and I went with another one at Quang. It had rice vermicelli noodles, carrots, cucumber, and grilled chicken. I also throw in some hoisin sauce and I tried the fish sauce that came with the meal as well (even though it didn't smell appetizing, it tasted great). We also ordered some spring rolls that came out 5.6 seconds after ordering them. Spring rolls are great, especially cause they can last so long. I want to learn how to make them so I can stuff my fridge full of them.
Our food came out quickly and we got to it, as we were both hungry. My food was fantastic, and I'm now on a Vietnamese food obsession that will last a couple months. At least it's not some unhealthy food obsession like, say, bacon. I think grilled chicken over rice vermicelli has to be an OK diet :)
It took a lot of willpower to not finish the whole large bowl and save the rest for another meal. Had I kept picking at it like I wanted to there would only be enough for a little snack, so I held back. Erin didn't even come CLOSE to finishing hers and I got to snag a few bites as well.
We asked for a couple containers for our food and the server came back with the containers and also slapped the check on the table. We boxed up our food, took the check to the front, and left. I bet our whole time there was around thirty minutes, quick, easy, and delicious.
The ratings for Quang:
- Service: Excellent service, I loved that she brought our bill with the boxes. She knew we were ready to leave and didn't need to ask for dessert or refills.
- Food: Fantastic. Spring rolls were great with pork and shrimp and my rice vermicelli salad was delicious.
- Drinks: I actually didn't even check if they had beer, we both just had water. Quang is borderline Vietnamese fast food, so I didn't feel like having a drink.
- Ambiance: They have huge windows that face Nicollet so it's very well lit, I really enjoyed the space.
- Price: Our bill was $20 after tip and tax, and we both got two meals out of our food, so Quang is a great deal.
- Convenience: Small parking lot out front holds maybe ten cars, otherwise you're parking at a meter.
We decided after our walk through downtown to go out to eat for the second day in a row. We justified this because the place we were headed to was fairly inexpensive and that we'd get two meals out of each of our orders. This seemed like a good enough justification for me, but I don't need to be convinced to go out most of the time...
We headed down Eat Street from downtown past about 15 places that are on our list - for some reason we really had never eaten out in this area before. I'm excited to try them all out. Pho Tau Bay ended up being closed, so we headed back to Quang.
My only experience with Vietnamese food prior to this was Ngon, this was a much different atmosphere. Ngon is more of a hip bistro that you would go to for a nice night out, and Quang is a no-frills place to get cheap, filling, and delicious food (not that Ngon isn't also filling and delicious, but it isn't as cheap).
I decided to get a broken rice dish with chicken - it was very good. The chicken had a bit of a kick to it, but it wasn't overwhelmingly spicy. It was a huge portion, which was nice, since I could also take it for lunch the next day. I also liked the spring rolls, but not as much as Ben. I think I just have too much of a preference for fried, unhealthy appetizers :)
I enjoyed Quang - the service was great, the atmosphere was friendly, and the food was delicious.
2719 Nicollet Ave.
Highly recommended for the value, service, and food