My most current food fixation is Vietnamese which is recognized as the light cuisine of Asia. Fresh vegetables, herbs, rice, noodles, grilled meats, seafood or tofu and the subtle use of seasoning is a simple summary. At 50th and France in Edina it’s Rice Paper and Frogtown on University Avenue in St. Paul it’s Ngon Bistro. Either will please, but for this review our state capital city of St. Paul will take the lead. Ngon which prepares authentic French-Vietnamese food in the increasingly popular concept of farm to table . I had the benefit of sampling several of Ngon’s favorites recently. Beginning with the Happy Hour menu I tried Kadegan Chicken Skewers free-range chicken marinated in a lemongrass sauce with organic greens and BBQ Pork Wraps, Fischer Farms pork shoulder, pickle sprouts and leaf lettuce. This was followed by Appetizers of Sausage and Pickle Plate, with house cured meats and farmers market pickles | Crispy Rabbit Dumpling with curry sauce and tomato confit | Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps with pork | Vietnamese Egg Rolls with shrimp. Progressing to the Traditionnel section of the menu which includes of Phở, a traditional Vietnamese soup with rice noodles, herbs and meat, and as we were properly educated by our server, pronounced “fa”. Ngon’s signature Pho is slowly crafted from natural grass fed oxtail and bones with premium spices | Bún , rice vermicelli salad, organic greens, cucumbers, bean sprouts, herbs, peanuts and pork. And finally a selection from the Nouveau Indochine section, Sweet Potato Ravioli, house made sweet potato stuffed ravioli, zucchini, tomatoes, asparagus with a curry butternut squash sauce and Pork Pasta, Serrano pepper braised pork, fresh Thai basil pasta zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes and 5 spice cream sauce. I am certain you will appreciate Ngon, it will likely be an adventure to most and as with me one that will repeat itself!
With a light rail and Metro Transit stop near its front door, off street parking to the east and evening parking from their friends next door at Ryan Plumbing and Heating, Ngon makes arrival and parking easy. The restored two story brick building and interior finishes of high ceilings and hard wood floors are welcoming, as is the host staff, servers and bartenders; add in spectacular food and the fixation makes perfect sense.
Bill’s Beverage of the Month
Dogfight Sorachi Ace Saison by American Scky Brewing Co – Saison | 9.2% ABV | 35 IBU
New in the month of May as part of their Single Engine Series which means they are only released once a year.
Notes from American Sky’s website, “a refreshing single hopped Sorachi Ace Saison with powerful aromas of lemon and dill, high alcohol with a gentle lemon bite finish.”