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May 19, 2009 12:29 PM

Mekong Cafe Springfield Illinois

Just had lunch with my four little ones at the Mekong Cafe near downtown in Springfield Illinois. The cuisine as the name suggests is Vietnamese with forays into Thailand and Laos. I'm unfamiliar with Loatian cuisine, but the Laotian Beef Curry Noodle dish was extremely fresh and flavorful, sweet but not too much and as spicy as you would like. The kids had some fried rice that got the 'thumbs up' from them. It appears at lunch it is a three person operation, two in the kitchen and one up front, but service was friendly and efficient (five other tables going and we didn't wait hardly at all). I was a tad surprised to walk in and see three buddhist monks chowing down, but that's probably just a sign that the food is as authentic as you'll find in central illinois.

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  1. >>The cuisine as the name suggests is Vietnamese

    hmm it's interesting that you would think of Vietnamese first. Whenever I'd see the word "Mekong", I would automatically think of Laos first and foremost...then Thailand and Cambodia, but never Vietnam even though the southern end of the river lies in Vietnam.

    Here's a map of the Mekong river:

    1 Reply
    1. re: yummyrice

      I guess this is what I was thinking of:

      "Mekong Delta
      The Mekong Delta is the bottom half of Vietnam's two rice baskets, the other being the Red River Delta in the North . This vast delta is formed by the deposition of the multiple tentacles and tributaries of the mighty Mekong River which has its origin in the Tibetan highland plateau 2,800 miles away. From its source, the river makes its way through China, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam before flowing out into the South China Sea. The Mekong's Vietnamese name, Cuu Long, means Nine Dragons for the nine mouths that terminate the flow of this great river as it is absorbed by the sea.

      The people of south Vietnam are often very proud of the richness and vastness of this land. When referring to the rice fields in this area, they often say, "co bay thang canh", meaning the land is so large that the cranes can stretch their wings as they fly. Today, the region is one of Vietnam's highest producer of rice crops, vegetables and fruits."

      The only thing in the world that makes me think "Laos", is Hank Hill's cartoon neighbor, but I'm probably relatively uncultured.

    2. Very glad to hear it. We have family in the area and have usually gotten perfectly good sandwiches on 6th, I think, but I'd much rather eat at Mekong Cafe. Thanks for posting about it, I'll try to get there next visit. I'll have to stay 2 days because I still have to get to a horseshoe!

      1. That's the little place on Second just off South Grand, isn't it? I haven't been there, but glad to hear it!

        1 Reply
        1. re: occula

          You are correct.

          I'm heading back next week.