As the temperature drops and fall becomes winter, Midwesterners yearn for soup. And there are few, if any, better places in the Twin Cities to satisfy that craving than Quang, Eat Street’s popular Vietnamese restaurant. Even if you never went beyond ordering a hearty bowl of pho, you’d be in good hands at Quang, but thinking the other soups on the menu nothing more than mere posers would be a tragic mistake: You’d miss out on Bun Bo Hue — hot and spicy beef and pork hock noodle soup.
Bun Bo Hue has a beautiful reddish brown beef broth with a bold, complex flavor that’s as arresting as its color. Ample amounts of Thai chili pepper and thin slices of fresh ginger give it a serious kick, while lemongrass and fresh lime add brightness. Pork hocks provide just the right amount of depth and structure. Bun Bo Hue’s intense broth makes pho seem timid by comparison.
Although officially a “soup,” Bun Bo Hue is as hearty and comforting as any Midwestern stew and, dare we say, even most hot dishes. Along with its sturdy noodles (considerably thicker than pho’s vermicelli) Bun Bo Hue features luscious cuts of tender, tasty beef brisket —and there’s enough meat to satisfy die-hard carnivores.
There’s no reason to abandon pho, but when things get blustery, it’s worth turning to this spicier cousin for warmth and comfort.
Quang Restaurant, 2719 Nicollet Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55408, 612.870.4739