We went to Bao Noodles for lunch a few weeks ago after not having been there for quite some time. I had always liked the food in the past, and that included the beef stew. However, when I ordered it this time, it was very disappointing. The beef was kind of tough and, overall, there was a lack of flavor. On the other hand, the pho with beef that my husband ordered was very good.
Perhaps the Hungarian goulash from Sarge's would satisfy your friend's craving. Although it comes with noodles, you can order a side of mashed potatoes. And they deliver!