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MSP - Ngon Bistro

Went there for lunch today with Axel. WOW that was great. the pho broth was so rich and smelled like, like... well good enough that my 4yo at it! I really wish he had been around when we were putting together the Minnesota Homegrown Cookbook - not that they would have parted with the recipe for this magic soup. The lettuce wraps (although a little salty for my taste) were great too, skewered 1000 hills beef grilled to a tender medium rare and served with my vote for the best peanut sauce in town. (A- wanted me to order another plate of it) I also had the soup of the day which was a slightly spicy, lemon grass and tomato bisque. couldn't convince Mr. Tag-along to try it... so you will have to take my independent word that it was good too.

This guy is the king of spice in St. Paul! everything was balanced and light slightly sweet, where the flavor of the food could show through and be just touched by anise, or coriander, or pepper, or whatever secret ancient SE Asian potions he is adding.

It was bright and airy and the wait staff were informed and very welcoming. Having a 4 year old with you is a very good test of this.

I asked if the pork was local, and the waiter said "it must be-Hai (owner) tries to get everything as local as possible." In fact the menu mentions the farms where the beef and duck are sourced. I remeber talking to him at the St. Paul FM last summer and giving him a couple ideas where to look for proteins - I don't know if it made any difference, but he has really made a great effort to do the local thing. Great beer choices as well... Axel didn't have those either ;)

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  1. Who is Axel? Surely, we're not expected to keep track of the names of posters' children...

    We have a few love letters to Ngon Bistro in this thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/381260, though, the pho itself has been the subject of much debate on this board. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/423032 I personally enjoy the pho at Ngon, but it's not everyone's cup of broth apparently. I do agree that the noodles in the pho could do with a little less clumping... And, as you know, we previously discussed the locally sourcing http://www.chowhound.com/topics/492347

    Thanks for letting us live vicariously through your lunch experience today! It's always good to read about good pho...

    ~TDQ

    2 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      I see it has been discussed at some length... but it was my first time and I had to tell someone (you win!)

      no clumping noodles at our table

      and there will be a quiz on children's names at the end of the show.

      1. re: 67.p.car

        Hey, when you have a great meal somewhere, you shouldn't just tell someone, you should tell EVERYONE! At least, everyone here on chowhound. ;-).

        I'm glad your noodles didn't clump!

        Next time, try some of their desserts, too--the mung bean cheesecakes are really lovely.

        EDIT: P.S. and who is Mr. Tagalong? ;-).
        ~TDQ

    2. Thanks for the post!

      I still haven't been & I've also not followed up on getting my kids to expand their palates.

      This will fit the bill....

      1 Reply
      1. re: St Paul Susie

        Finally went last night and it was excellent. Didn't bring the kids. Will do so at a future time....

        Duck entree - amazing! Rabbit appy excellent & spring/pork spring rolls better than average.

      2. Absolutely love this place. We are becoming once-a-weekers. The fish specials are killer. Also they are very accomodating about doing take-out orders. I often pick up their food on the way home from work.

        Only 1 problem so far. They have a nice Champagne on the wine list, but don't own a bucket (or anything else) to chill it in. Note to management: Buy A Champagne Bucket.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Michael Florey

          Michael -- I will look for you there. We get there regularly too. (Your former office-mate.)

          1. re: karykat

            Awesome, hope to see you there. (senoir discount yet?)

            1. re: Michael Florey

              Remember -- you aren't that far behind me!

        2. I agree that this place is very good. I try to visit when I am in the twin cities.

          1. Pork is purebred berkshire or yorkshire from Tim Fischer in Waseca. If you think you'll like places like this do not wait years to try them, they will disappear. They do not have the six figure advertising budget of a local corporate giant or national chain. It's about word of mouth, connected to motion of feet..... This is a place that tries extra hard, and the food is delicious.