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Go west, young man, to Mr Red Cafe on Broadway

grayelf | Feb 22, 2016 09:52 PM

It's been a while since I wanted to head home and dash off a post because I was excited about a new restaurant. And I'm a little torn here because I don't want to add to the potential frenzy and a) overwhelm them or b) contribute to endless lineups. But I'll assume that my recommendations will not do either and just say, you should go.

The new outpost, just east of MacDonald on the south side of Broadway, is quite similar looking to the original, though more spacious. The kitchen is much bigger and is a full kitchen, according to Rose, one of the friendliest and most genuine proprietors I've met in my many years of nosey dining out.

She is offering quite a few more dishes, though I believe I spotted all the old favourites on the menu as well. The biggest news is the family style service, set menus augmented by "side dishes" and served only on Sunday. I can't wait to try that option out. It appears to be scalable for two or more people.

Since I was solo tonight, I tried not to over order and (shock) failed, getting my addiction, the rich and creamy yogurt-coffee drink, plus a Mr Red crunchy and spicy bread ($4.50, it's spicy pate with glorious crispy shallots and garlic on 4 largish fingers of Vietnamese baguette), followed by banh xeo ($12.50), which would have been enough on its own.

The pate they use is housemade from a mixture of pork and chicken liver, steamed for 24 hours (IIRC). It's much milder than the pate I've tried at other Viet places, perhaps because of the chicken.

A lot of love and pride goes into the food here and it shows on the plate and on the palate. I'm looking forward to trying pretty much every dish here over what I hope will be a long and happy occupancy of this location so close to home and work for me.

They have 10% off right now for their grand opening which is an added bonus. Tiny logistical quibbles: the floor is made of a material that does not mix well with the feet of the chairs so be careful as they scoot around; also there is a small step up into the loo that is a bit dangerous. Tiny food quibble: I thought the dipping sauce with the banh xeo was too sweet; loved the shredded carrot and papaya in it though, and just used the fabulous on-table vinegar with garlic and chiles instead, which I would do anyway. They should have charged me extra for the amount I used ;-).

It was busy to full for the hour and a bit I was there tonight from 6:30 to 8, their first day after a one-day soft opening. The room was buzzing with smiling, keen diners -- I think a lot of people have been waiting for the doors to open. I do hope Kits dwellers take this place into their hearts.

A link to an older thread on the original location: http://www.chowhound.com/post/intel-r...

Here's a shot of the banh xeo and the ban mi Cay

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