Went there for lunch today with Axel. WOW that was great. the pho broth was so rich and smelled like, like... well good enough that my 4yo at it! I really wish he had been around when we were putting together the Minnesota Homegrown Cookbook - not that they would have parted with the recipe for this magic soup. The lettuce wraps (although a little salty for my taste) were great too, skewered 1000 hills beef grilled to a tender medium rare and served with my vote for the best peanut sauce in town. (A- wanted me to order another plate of it) I also had the soup of the day which was a slightly spicy, lemon grass and tomato bisque. couldn't convince Mr. Tag-along to try it... so you will have to take my independent word that it was good too.
This guy is the king of spice in St. Paul! everything was balanced and light slightly sweet, where the flavor of the food could show through and be just touched by anise, or coriander, or pepper, or whatever secret ancient SE Asian potions he is adding.
It was bright and airy and the wait staff were informed and very welcoming. Having a 4 year old with you is a very good test of this.
I asked if the pork was local, and the waiter said "it must be-Hai (owner) tries to get everything as local as possible." In fact the menu mentions the farms where the beef and duck are sourced. I remeber talking to him at the St. Paul FM last summer and giving him a couple ideas where to look for proteins - I don't know if it made any difference, but he has really made a great effort to do the local thing. Great beer choices as well... Axel didn't have those either ;)
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