Food website Thrillist deployed writer Mai Pham to scout out the 28 best Vietnamese spots in the whole dang U.S., and wouldn't ya know it: Two Minneapolis restaurants made the cut.
Quang, that beloved Eat Street treasure, and Hai Hai, that newish Northeast dazzler, together represent 7 percent of the entire list, according to my rudimentary math skills. Not bad, local Vietnamese food scene!
Of 30-year-old Quang, Pham writes:
"The entire menu is tried and true. There are no wrong choices here. So go ahead and order that difficult-to-master bun bo hue. Like most else on the menu, it’s the kind of delicious that only comes with years and years of practice."
Of 2-year-old Hai Hai, she writes:
"How easy is it to fall smitten with Hai Hai (translated “two two”) in Northeastern Minneapolis? Just grab a seat on the festive patio decked out with decidedly un-Midwestern palm trees and turquoise blue stools channeling the feel of Vietnam’s many streetside cafes: The setting alone will seduce you even before the food hits the table."
Quang, whose name you're likely mispronouncing, is currently undergoing a major remodel, but it's still open for business. Is the family-run pho destination this reporter's favorite Twin Cities restaurant? It is.
"It’s tied to the American dream, immigration, and my mother-in-law working her ass off," Quang social media manager Jarrett Reed told us earlier this year. "It’s been a labor of love and everyone in the family has contributed."
The Thrillist nod is Hai Hai's second dose of the national spotlight this week. On Monday, owner Christina Nguyen was rhapsodized in a Vogue Magazine piece titled "Meet the Women Behind Minneapolis's Food Revolution."
Nguyen, who also owns south Minneapolis' Hola Arepa with her husband Birk Grudem, shared her ideal dying meal with us last year.
Uhh... happy Friday!