It's Tuesday and mmm-yoso!!! is getting through the week with another post by Cathy. Kirk and ed(from Yuma) are just plain busy.
Kirk first posted about Que Huong in August 2005. He subsequently had a series of three posts devoted to the food here in 2008 and he has mentioned some of the dishes, particularly the chicken wings, in other posts (you can use that 'Search" box on the top left of this page) there are 1670 mentions on this blog. The Mister and I had been to this location before 2005, when it was a dim sum restaurant (and I wasn't taking photos of our meals, much less blogging). In August, fellow blogger (on hiatus) Sawyer was in town, working for his Internship and Kirk, Carol, Dennis and I met up with him at Que Huong early on a Sunday morning for a wonderful celebratory feast.
Located in the corner space of a mini mall, behind the Burger King parking lot on the North side of University at Marlborough, the exterior is deceiving.
Que Huong has a very large interior behind the steel corner door barred location, the tables and chairs always are elegantly covered - for lunch and dinner- and the interior seems quieter and less hurried than most Vietnamese Restaurants.
The pork and shrimp jackfruit salad arrived at the table topped with a sesame rice cracker.
It looks like this. It's tangy and made with canned jackfruit (which isn't mushy, but firm...kind of al dente, as are all the vegetables). It's topped with a bit of nuoc mam (fish sauce).
Kirk ordered the table both tamarind and fish sauce chicken wings. If you've read his posts, you know he thinks the chicken wings here are the best in San Diego. I agree. The wings are crispy and light and coated perfectly. It was extremely difficult to decide which was better...it was a matter of if you like a bit sweet or a bit more pungent. I will say I will never order hot sauce/BBQ sauce/honey anything wings anyplace else ever again.
The seasoned periwinkle in coconut curry sauce was another great item. The periwinkles are cut on both ends, so you can easily suck the meat out and enjoy the sweet-spicy sauce. The herb on top is Vietnamese coriander (rau ram). There were about six of the little shelled creatures and some of the sauce left over and I brought those home to The Mister, who really enjoyed the flavors melded in this dish.
This was a salad of minced wild boar sauteed with lemongrass and red and green peppers, topped with the sesame rice cracker. The herb on top has a cumin flavor. This was surprisingly wonderful and mildly addictive. The boar flavor wasn't too distinct or odd...I got more texture out of it and enjoyed the melding of all the flavors.
Snapper flavored with dill and turmeric is a classic Vietnamese dish: cha ca thang long. It's served with that plate of goodies at the top- rice noodles, lettuce, perilla leaves, cucumber, pickled carrot, pineapple and mint. this is a meal for two all by itself. Seriously good.
Above is the catfish Hot Pot, photographed after some of the contents had been removed and the sizzle had stopped. The fish was tender and fresh flavored (not muddy, as sometimes happens with catfish) and a piece of pork belly lined the bottom of the pot. The sauce was sticky of course, but had a deep flavor of fish sauce in addition to the sweet. I wish I wasn't so full and could have eaten more. All in all, great food shared with great friends.
Of course, I returned, with The Mister, for lunch. We started out with the papaya salad. Fresh, crispy, able to taste all the flavors which were perfectly melded together. Just enough heat for us.
We chose to share the fish sauce chicken wings, because ...well... we just wanted to try one flavor and The Mister asked me to choose. My choice was savory. Perfectly crispy wings, perfectly sauced and served with a salt-pepper-lime juice for dipping.
The Mister wanted to see the version of Bahn Xeo that Que Huong makes. We ordered it as soon as we sat down, knowing it takes a while to make.
A perfect light, crispy, rice flour-turmeric based pancake, filled with bean sprout, onion, pork and shrimp. Airy and crispy, wrapped in lettuce leaves with mint added. An excellent version.
We enjoy Que Huong and it has become a regular stop when we are in the neighborhood. It's just a bit nicer with better food and offerings than some other places.
Que Huong 4134 University Avenue San Diego 92105 (619) 281-6008