Thanh Do (South MSP) - A Little Gem
- jfood Feb 3, 2009 05:24 PM
Jfood had plenty to do at the hotel so he needed a take out near Edina-Bloomington. Someone in the office recommended Thanh Do off Minnetonka Ave. so he decided to give it a shop. This place is a little gem. Located in a small strip mall on South Utah, if you blink you will miss it, yet all of the spots were taken out front, at 630 there was a line waiting for take-out and the tables were 40% full. And this was on a Tuesday night. They’re doing something right.
Jfood ordered a sampler to go, (a) some fried pork potstickers, (b) the Cranberry Curry white meat Chicken, fresh mushrooms, onions, scallions, Thai curry, coconut milk and cranberries and (c) Vietnamese Basil Chicken with pineapple, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and fresh basil.
The potstickers were very good, fried on all sides with a little bite and the ginger sauce was sweet, vinegary and had a little red pepper flakes for some heat. OK, Jfood was thinking this place had potential.
The Vietnamese Chicken had pieces of chicken with a variety of red and green peppers, quartered button mushrooms chunks of pineapple and sautéed basil. The basil and pineapple was an interesting combination and the peppers were crispy and flavorful. This dish was good, and would bring Jfood back to try others, but maybe not this dish.
But the winner of the night was the one dish Jfood almost did not order except for the recommendation of the hostess, the Cranberry Curry. Never would Jfood have thought that this combination would explode with various flavors in his mouth. This combination was fantastic. Jfood has a bit of a bellyache because he could not stop eating this dish. So for this dish alone Jfood definitely has this place on the return list.
BTW – The servers are all 18-20 years old, right on top of things, know the food and could not be friendlier. And the best part, instead of a “Tip Jar” they labeled it a “Good Karma Jar.” Great idea.
So if you are in the area or want to drive to the south side for some really good food, Jfood recommends giving this place a shot.
Glad you found it, jfood. I've been to Thanh Do a few times and have enjoyed it. I'll have to try the cranberry curry.
Thanh Do is owned by the family of Thom Phan, who's a fairly well known local restauranteur (Azia, Temple, etc.).
For those unfamiliar with the area, though, Thanh Do is actually in Saint Louis Park, not in South Minneapolis.
Also, for Jfood and others, the Four Firkins, which is one of the best (if not the best) places for beer in the Cities, is right around the corner in the same strip mall.
3005 Utah Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55426
The Four Firkins
8009 Minnetonka Blvd, Minneapolis, MN
we are regulars here. a few fridays ago, the wait was almost an hour. the hot and sour soup is delicious (very peppery) and the nutty chicken is great.
Food's tasty, but we've never had acceptable service. Good to know some have had more luck with that.
Inspired by jfood's decriptions, and bob_s's reminder of its proximity to my favorite beer shop, the wife and I made the long trek from Lake Elmo to St Louis Park yesterday and gave Thanh Do a try. While I'm not sure I would make the 40-minute haul just for the food, the food and beer combo was a clincher.
We tried the cranberry curry. I liked it quite a lot. The menu listed this as a very spicy dish. It was very mild to my taste but the flavors were excellent. The wife took a bite and passed. She's a pretty traditional asian and the new flavors didn't do it for her.
We also tried the hot and spicy squid, which was fairly spicy but also was extremely salty, which of course pleased the wife and put me off my lunch. I would have loved the dish if not for the salt. The flavors were great and the squid was soft and lovely. Not a chewy/rubbery piece on the plate. So between the two of us, we each had a dish we liked. Lovely couple, we are.
We also tried the Thai hot and sour soup. It isn't Thai, but that's not a criticism. Just a statement. The soup it self was quite delicious and unusual. Smooth and citrus-y, generously loaded with chicken breast meat, bean sprouts, cilantro, and a few other bits and pieces that made a great soup. We both liked it a lot. It would have been great as a spicy dish, too, but the version we tried was mild by design and didn't suffer for it.
The cream cheese puffs were greasy and forgettable, but the sweet and gingery dipping sauce was very nice.
Thanks to jfood for the tip and to bob_s for the reminder of its location. Went and got a couple bottles of Human Blockhead and a bottle of Japanese beer made from red rice.