Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) is the soul of what Vietnamese cuisine has become in America. It turns out you don’t have to go to Vietnam to enjoy this dish thanks to the culture rich Mong population here in Minneapolis. A balanced broth of aromatics, saltiness, a hint of sweetness and the usual accompaniments (Bean sprouts, lime, basil) are what I’m looking for when in search of Pho. Quang Restaurant is one of the more popular Vietnamese restaurants in Minneapolis. Many people know and love Quang, sometimes causing a wait time for tables and frequently making a traffic jam out of their private parking lot. Since Quang is so popular, the servers have gotten very good at explaining dishes, so bringing a first-time Vietnamese eater here would be welcome.
I went with a large group of 10 the first visit and Quang graciously accepted a reservation and accommodated our large group. The restaurant houses many seats, so groups will feel comfortable here in the ambient buzz of chatter. We ordered (starting in the upper left hand corner, going clockwise):
508. Mi Hoanh thanh- Egg noodles and wonton (pork and shrimp) soup w/ roast pork, $8.50
405. Banh Hoi Chao Tom- Grilled sugarcane shrimp grilled over fine patted rice noodles, $9.95
412. Quang Pad Thai- Stir fry noodles Thai style Chicken, $9.95
503. Pho Thap Cam- Beef noodle soup with fresh sliced beef, tendon, brisket, tripe and meatballs, $8.50
Devan especially enjoyed her 508. Mi Hoanh thanh as did Derek with his 503. Pho Thap Cam. Ally was a bit confused when her plate arrived (405. Banh Hoi Chao Tom) as she was expecting whole shrimp rather than a sliced shrimp cake.
On the first visit to Quang, we received lemons alongside the typical basil and bean sprouts. We now believe that we were given lemons because the restaurant somehow ran out of limes. Revisiting the restaurant we found that limes are the norm for their accompaniments. Quang has some really solid food, for cheap at that, and although they use MSG in their food, their pho broth still stands as rich and beefy.
505. Pho Tai- Fresh sliced beef noodle soup, $7.50
504. Pho Tai Bo Vien- Fresh sliced beef and meatballs, $7.50
308. Bun Cha Gio- Vietnamese Egg rolls salad (vegetable egg rolls available upon request), $7.50
Best Bets: Mi Hoanh thanh- Egg noodles and wonton (pork and shrimp) soup w/ roast pork; Bun Cha Gio- Vietnamese Egg rolls salad; Pho Tai Bo Vien- Fresh sliced beef and meatballs; Pho Thap Cam- Beef noodle soup with fresh sliced beef, tendon, brisket, tripe and meatballs
Vegetarian / Vegan / Gluten-Free: Yes / No / Yes
Entree Range: $7-12
Waiter Service: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes but limited
Credit Cards: Yes
Parking: Private lot
Good for Groups: Yes
2719 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Neighborhood: Eat Street
Mon, Wed-Fri 11am–9pm