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NGON BISTRO - Pretty Good Visit (msp)

s
snoboardbabe77 Sep 1, 2009 05:03 AM

I have read mixed reviews on Ngon and living so close--finally decided to try it out on Sat at 11AM for lunch with my sister.

We sat on the patio - pleasant.
Server was prompt and polite - and should have been since we were the first and only patrons there at that time.
I am allergic to shellfish (so sad) so whenever I order spring rolls, I either ask for the shrimp removed (but pork still intact) or strictly vegetarian. I was a little disappointed to learn that the "fresh" spring rolls are pre-made/rolled. I can list about oh, 15-20 Vietnamese and Thai restaurants in MN that have no issues with making me a "fresh" one sans shrimp but with pork. I am of the opinion too, that they are made when requested due to the fact that if they were pre-made and simply removed the shrimp (when notified of my allergy), surely my allergic reaction would ensue.
That being said, (since I couldn't enjoy the shrimp croquettes), we opted for the egg rolls. Egg rolls on this day were delicious! If you like meat, you'd like these. They may have even had too much PORK. No joke. The pork had great flavor (a nice little spicy kick) and the pork to vermicelli noodle ratio was 90% pork - 10% noodles and veggies. They were hot, non-greasy and tasty!
I ordered the ginger tofu and shiitake mushrooms over broken rice. Arrived hot with a nice presentation - 7 or 8 pieces of 1 1/2 inch squares of marinated tofu - crisp on the outside, and chewy on the inside - the ginger marinade definitely penetrated the tofu. My only complaint? A few more slices of shiitake mushrooms. I swear I counted 4 thin slices. A few more would have been nice to round out the tofu, green onion, rice, english cucumber and tomato combo.
Sister ordered to Kadjean (sp) chicken over broken rice. It was a nice size/piece of chicken with a just-perfect char around the edges. The teriyaki-ish type glaze was actually fairly light and not overly sweet-but it did sort of remind me of your basic bottle less-syrupy teriyaki sauce? Even homemade, teriyaki tends to have that same taste....but nonetheless, the chicken was juicy and it was a pleasant summer meal.
Water only and refilled before asking multiple times. Final bill: $24.14 with tip- $30.00. Will definitely return. (Reminder: No pho available on patio).

  1. mtullius Sep 1, 2009 07:16 AM

    I've been meaning to write up our recent experiences at Ngon, which in the past few months has vaulted to or near the top of our list of go-to places.

    I always get their version of the banh mi, which I believe is called the Pork Loin Sandwich. It's divine. Amazing glaze on the pork, just the right amount of crunch from the veggies, a little heat from the peppers.... ah....

    My wife usually gets the bún (rice vermicelli) or one of the specials (last time the tuna pasta). She usually gets something that I won't eat (I have issues, once again), but she's always been very pleased. We often start with lettuce wraps, which are fresh and delicious.

    For me one of the highlights is always beer. I am a beer fanatic, and Ngon has the Twin Cities' best local beer list. They always have something cask-conditioned, which is usually a special offering (last time: Surly's astounding Tea-Bagged Furious).

    The tasty food, the local sourcing, the local beer, always good service, and reasonable prices make Ngon an absolute favorite in our book.

    1. d
      dalewest Sep 1, 2009 08:38 PM

      My family ate there for the first time for Sunday lunch about a week ago. We ate inside. For apps we had the spring rolls and the rabbit dumpling. The rolls were good but the rabbit was really tasty.

      I had the pho with lean beef and meat balls. The pho was very decent (very good meatbals) when considering it was being serviced in a relatively fancy joint. (My experience generally leads me to expect the quality of the pho to be inversely related to the ambience of the dining environment.) My wife had the bun with chicken. She would preferred a bun from one of our normal goto places like Pho 79 or Quangs. I thought the chicken was very good but it is not more classic carmelized chicken other places would serve.

      Overall the price was reasonable and I look forward to going back again.

      1. h
        Haricotsv2 Sep 2, 2009 04:02 PM

        I went today for lunch. After our shrimp pate on sugar cane appetizers, I had a crepe with scallops and sprouts inside (incomplete descriptions, sorry). It was terrific! My three friends were happy with their bun salads and broken rice dishes--I love this place!
        Margi

        7 Replies
        1. re: Haricotsv2
          The Dairy Queen Sep 2, 2009 09:23 PM

          Funnily enough, Ngon's sugar cane shrimp appetizer never thrilled me, as intriguing as it sounds and as much as I like their apps in general.

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen
            h
            Haricotsv2 Sep 3, 2009 05:22 AM

            Do you like the rabbit appetizer? (My favorite).

            1. re: Haricotsv2
              The Dairy Queen Sep 3, 2009 06:56 AM

              Yep. :).

              ~TDQ

              1. re: Haricotsv2
                Jordan Sep 3, 2009 08:41 AM

                I love the rabbit dumplings, too. Also, anything they do with the glazed Fischer Farms pork is worth getting. I think they have a lettuce wrap appetizer that you can get with that pork. Get it, and ignore the lettuce. :)

                1. re: Jordan
                  s
                  snoboardbabe77 Sep 3, 2009 09:55 AM

                  Jordan -- I agree with you on the pork. the egg rolls contained that spicy pork and it was so good! Even if I tried other appetizers, I'd get the standby egg rolls merely b/c of the pork. Alas, I will take your word on the rabbit. Don't say no to many things but having raised them in 4-H - I just can't do it! :) Since rabbit isn't exactly a grocery store item, do you know where they come from?

                  1. re: snoboardbabe77
                    The Dairy Queen Sep 3, 2009 09:59 AM

                    According to their menu, the rabbit is from Singer House Farms. I think that's in WI.

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      s
                      snoboardbabe77 Sep 4, 2009 05:18 AM

                      TDQ to the rescue! I'm a menu freak and I don't know how I managed to miss that one! Plan to take hubby there soon (tho I think he'll scoff at the idea that soy sauce is not out on the tables already - LOL) at least they were not out on the patio. It'll be difficult to convince him that it might not be necessary!

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