Ming Asian Bistro in Gaithersburg (Kentlands), Just opened. Anyone been? 251 Market St.
I was watching as a new restaurant in my neighborhood was taking shape. It's a hard neighborhood to be successful in. Doughboys, Quisno's, Mirch Masala, Cantina D Italia, Maggy Moos, Itononaki (sp?), and Zodiac Grill all went out of business here this year! We moved in 2 years ago and love it here.
I highly doubt anyone's been here yet to Ming Asian Bistro since I haven't seen nary 1 review on the web of it but I thought I'd give it a try if a "hound" had gone and was merely a lurker here for the most part. Maybe you'll post your review. If not, I'm determined to try it soon myself. I don't eat Pho, as it has beef in it but I'm going to try the vegetarian noodle soup and maybe the veggie spring rolls and will report back in time. The only reference I could even find for it is on Yellow Book Superpages (totally useless) where it says as a review "It serves customers". Awesome. That's helpful :o)
I heard a great Kojo Nambde radio talk show on NPR yesterday talking about all the great Pho experiences in our DC metro area. Utterly fascinating show, how the best 3 Vietnamese places all used to be in the Eden Center but left and are out on their own now in different corners of town.
I've been there several times already, and I would definitely recommend the place. It's not a four star restaurant by any means, but it's good and it's cheap. I live in the area, and this place has become part of my regular rotation when it comes to take out.
As for the food, their menu is a mix of Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese. But based on the big neon sign they have hanging on their window, it's clear that they specialize in Pho. And I have to say, they make it pretty well. It's fairly authentic, and I especially like the broth that they use. Their Grilled Pork Chop on Rice dish is also pretty tasty, although they did not include the usual salad/fish sauce that usually comes with it if you order it from somewhere else. Their prices are cheap, and their portions are reasonable. I'm definitely rooting for this place to stay in business.
I went the other day as well -- what is it about cold weather that makes me want SOUP? The hotter the better. Their Pho broth has a lot of flavor. The prices are inexpensive and the quality is good. So many good restaurants have left the Kentlands -- I really miss Mirch Masala! -- that I hope they can hang in.
re: Transplanted Texan
Well, we finally went a week ago. We usually order vegetarian when we go out though we're not vegetarians. We split the summer rolls which we asked for with only vegetables, no meat or shrimp. The waitress first said they don't have them and then added that they could make them. She barely spoke English which appealed to me in some way. It felt very authentic. They came out very, very large, and looked great. Unfortunately they were stuffed with noodle and cucumber and that's about it. Pretty weak, not even any carrot, and the cloying sauce served on the side was just ok, and right out of a thick jar.
On to the next thing... the vegetarian noodle soup. I liked it and added a little hot sauce to it. My wife thought it was ok, nothing too special. It sure was cheap. $9 for dinner for two. After we sat down a lot of people poured into this place, mid week, so I think people are going to cheap, noodle places over overpriced pizza places (it used to be Doughboys). By the time we left, we got to see many dishes come out that looked pretty darn good. At least half of them were over rice, not noodle soups. I am looking forward to going back one day. We can walk there in 5 minutes from our new house in Lakelands. :o)
Just went tonight for dinner. We are avid pho fans, and this place is FANTASTIC. Very flavorful pho, nice selection of beef pho, no chicken option, but I don't mind that. They also have fried rice and lo mien, Chinese and Thai style and a few grilled dishes. They also have a nice selection of appetizers including spring and summer rolls. The summer rolls were fresh, still slightly warm, and the most flavorful I have had. The pho was delicious - dark broth, and they put green onions in it. The price is the best I've found for Pho yet - 1 large, 1 medium, and an order of summer rolls for under $17. Can't be beat. The word "bistro" is accurate - their menu is one page, two sided, but the quality and cost are so good, and the service is good too. Clean place, nicely decorated.