Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vietnam Kitchen

Vietnam Kitchen

5339 Mitscher Ave
Iroquois Manor

The entrance is a bit scary – the décor, pedestrian - the menu, crusty and illegible – the food, stupefying!  Vietnam Kitchen is everything I love about a restaurant.  Unassuming and quietly doing what they do best – no frills, nothing fancy….just damn good food.  I think I may have skipped a full loop around the office after LPG pulled it from the lunch pail.  This place has been on my list of favorites for some time, but I rarely get the chance to venture out to the Beechmont/Iroquois area to take in a lunch there. 

There is a large Vietnamese and Korean population out in this area of town – enough to tout quite a few great restaurants and some specialized grocery stores.  There are 80+ million people in the world who speak Vietnamese… I’m not one of them…. so instead of having a middle aged Vietnamese woman cackle at a lame attempt to pronounce what I was ordering, I said what any other decent American would say…. "I’ll take the K-8 with chicken."  sidebar - I always chuckle to myself…that’s awfully close to K-9, and I sure as hell am not going to order K-9 -  Everyone else put in their letter-number sequence, J-4, K-6,  another K-8 w/ beef, F-5, and how could we go without a couple of orders of A-2 ….we patiently waited to wolf on our monstrous bowls of amazing. 

It took a little while for them to put together our order, but while we waited we were able to look around the establishment and make an interesting observation.  The place was was noon and there were no tables open - typical of this eatery during the lunch hour.  Businessmen.  Everywhere you looked.  At every table sat a crew of middle aged men in shirts and ties, some had navy blazers with brass buttons draped over the backs of their chairs.  Mortgage brokers, software engineers,  hospital administrators tending to important business with napkins tucked into their collars.  It was obvious we were in the midst of a full scale sweaty forehead business operation.  This was important business.  We laughed because we had the only table that included patrons of the effeminate persuasion.  I told Chickadoo, Candypants, and J-Lust that they were hard-core chicks that could handle the heat.  They agreed and out came the goods.

Please - if and when you go to Vietnam Kitchen, get the spring rolls.  They are a delightful start to a great experience.  Everyone was all smiles as we attacked our main courses.  I was an oily mess by the time I was nearing my fill... Man 1 had to slap the bowl out of my hands as I was working up the nerve and the gastro-capacity to slurp the K-8 sauce that remained after the noodles, broccoli, and chicken had met their end...the sauce is that good.  
Almost every time I've been to VK, I end up with the K-8...I swore that I would branch out this time. I asked the waitress what she recommended - I was looking for something spicy and noodley and delicious.  She recommended the K-8.... by god I saw it as fate!  I had to re-indulge, and I'll probably do it again next time.  We all left happy and stuffed.

With all of the business they do, it's obvious they have the means to update their digs, but that may just diminish some of the charm of the place.  Everyone owes it to themselves to hit up this spot - and I know that a lot of people have - but if you are one of the few Louisvillians yet to embark on this Vietnamese culinary journey, please do so with extreme urgency.

No comments:

Post a Comment