Great news. The top spot for soul food in the Twin Cities has re-opened its doors after a several month hiatus. I drove by tonight and there is a big sign out front announcing Big E's is open. I called when I got home to confirm, and it is back to the same hours and they are staying put. I really like the food and space, so I am very happy it is going to stay where it is.
Down the block, I tried Pho Quan tonight for the first time. Kathie Jenkins of the St. Paul Pioneer Press had mentioned the shrimp pho there as one of her top 10 dishes of 2004. I honestly would be hard pressed to put in my top 10 Vietnamese dishes on Eat Street. The shrimp were plump and tasty, but the broth lacked the nuanced flavors of the soups at Jasmine or Quang. The noodles themselves also seemed to be more flavorless. The space is an absolute hole-in-the-wall (which I found charming); it was actually pretty authenitc to the pho places I visited in Vietnam in October. However, I do not think I would pick it again over Jasmine or Quang.