Short Report on Mekong East in one Word: "Meh"
In the words of my hubby, "meh." I was starving and ordered soup and an entree. The soup (hot and sour) came at the same time as my entree. The waiter explained the timing was because the soup was an entree. Ok, but since I also ordered an additional entree, shouldn't she have warned me? I love good vietnamese hot & sour soup. Their version was "meh". Ok flavor but way too salty and lacking a bit of sweetness. (I know it's technically hot and sour soup but my favorite versions tend to have a touch of sweetness, probably from pineapple juice).
My entree as well was "meh". The menu was short and instead of the typical grilled chicken I tried the caramel cooked tilapia. The fish was a tad "fishy" (i.e. not super fresh). There was a lack of fresh herbs which I'm used to with vietnamese cooking. Not horrible, but not super yummy either.
I would go back if I were in the area but I definitely would not make a destination of it. I hope their food improves because I hate to have to go to Chinatown for Vietnamese. Elmhurst has a few places, but each one I've tried has been very dirty; not places I'd want to eat from. To end on a positive note, Mekong East was extremely clean.
43-13 Bell Blvd, Queens, NY 11361
Go to Mekong Pho ( no relation) in the small Duane Reade shopping center on Northern and 156th street. Cheap, excellent Viet and Thai. Lovely owner. Always packed. And Paris Baguette is next door for a post-meal pan au chocolat.
156-32 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354
156-24 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354
Perfect Assessment, by the Hub Nicole!
-Grilled Whole Baby Squid = Not quite fresh/Not quite off irregularly chopped squid. Un-garnished and bland, with a nice sweet sauce, for which I was grateful.
-An order of Summer Rolls were fine, but the peanut sauce light on peanut and heavy on the soy...no discernable hoisin or coconut....I dunno.
-The 'special' pho had none of the promised extras and was serviceable, at best.
-Jasmine tea came in a lovely pot, but it was two teabags that produced a slightly fragrant though tasteless hot water.
The server (can't quite call her a Waiter) was very sweet.
@ZenFoodist - Yes, Mekong Pho is decidedly better, as is the "Vietnamese Restaurant" that is just east of Little Neck Parkway, on Northern.