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Quang on Nicollet
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Post Quang on Nicollet 
I used to live by 24th and Nicollet a couple years ago. Being a fan of copping a buzz and chowing down in general and a fan of Pho soup in specific, I’m positive I tried every Vietnamese joint up and down Nicollet Avenue. And I can say with all certainty that Quang (2700 block on Nicollet) is far and away the best of them.

They do everything right: If it’s full (and quite often it is), they’ll seat you in ten minutes. Regardless of how busy it is, you’ll get your food in ten minutes. They’re always consistent in, in… everything.

I had made it habit to order to go from Quang before Monday Night Football. Living a mere four blocks away, I could order ten minutes before kick off, get in my car, drive 130 miles an hour, crash through the front door and they would have my order waiting.

You can’t ask for more. Oh, because it’s basic Vietnamese fare, as opposed to the mistake-on-a-plate fusion garbage served across the street at Asia, it’s cheap.

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Post CaDao 
I'd like to say I hate to disagree with ya, Padre — but you & I (and almost everyone else, probably) know that is a lie. I love to disagree with you!

You make it sooo easy!

Today's case in point: pho.

Quang-town is good, I grant you. They're all the things you said above. Except that the best pho is, sadly, not found in the vicinity of 26th & Nicollet.

Try Frogtown, dude.

In point of fact try the unsurpassed — even in southeast Asia, I am happy to report — CaDao, on Univerity & Arundel. Okay it's grubby-looking, and the décor will give the aesthetes among you nightmares, and you will undoubtedly be the sole Tighty Whitey in the place and will thus receive some pretty nasty looks. So what?

The place has the best pho, ever. I'm afraid to ask what goes into the broth (an old, old woman in Thailand, an immigrant or a refugee from the Indochina Wars once held up a chicken foot when I asked) but it does not matter. It is as far above Quang's as Quang's is above the McDonald's on 24th, hey.

See ya there. So maybe ya won't be the only misplaced-looking one …

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Post Re: Quang on Nicollet 
padrewu wrote:
I used to live by 24th and Nicollet a couple years ago. Being a fan of copping a buzz and chowing down in general and a fan of Pho soup in specific, I’m positive I tried every Vietnamese joint up and down Nicollet Avenue. And I can say with all certainty that Quang (2700 block on Nicollet) is far and away the best of them.


I went to Quang once. I think they used a load of MSG in everything they cooked. It might seem tasty, but it is artificial. Good chefs or cooks never used that much MSG to enhance the flavor.

They were very fast in serving foods and their prices were very low. I guess you get what you pay for. Never went back to that place for the second time.

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Post MSG: It's In You! (Like it or not.) 
By the way, I got a little secret about MSG: Just about every kitchen uses it whether they say they do or not. If they don’t, then they’ll use a combination of the basic ingredients that make up the same thing, they just report it as “MSG Free”.

As if that’s something to boast. Like the much-ballyhooed trans fat scare, good chefs (yes, the ones you and I both like) use the same stuff- just in different combinations to suit different folk’s expectations.

For example, if you’re a vegetarian, or would like to think you’re ordering food without red meat, good luck finding a dish that isn’t cooked on the same grill or in the same pan, without contacting animal stuff somewhere down the line.

Fact is, we cooks don’t really give a rip about the pet-peeves of customers. We’re much more concerned with making your food tasty, and of course, fast. (Unless you’re one of the unfortunate folks that used to dine at The Mud Pie. Vegetarian- and the worst sort- to the bitter end.)

MSG! As if it doesn’t exist in YOUR dinner! Ha!

Oh, I forgot, one of my personal guiding principles of eating out: If eating at a “foreign” restaurant, look around and see if there are natives enjoying the grub. If there are, you’re hitting a home run.

By that grade, Quang is full of the home crowd from morning to midnight. If that’s not your bag, then that’s cool with me. If nothing else, I’ll never have to wait until you’ve finished your meal to get a seat. Just don’t blame flavor on some phantom spice paranoia… It’s a slander on a tried and true joint. (In my humble blah, blah, f*cking blah…)

P.S.: Do tell, because I'm always game for a new thrill: Where do you eat?



Last edited by padrewu on Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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I'm a big fan of Quang. Had a meal there just before heading north for the summer, and it was excellent. I recommend as well.

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