Viet Huong

17 May 2011
Average Cost ($8-$14)
West Huntsville
3 out of 5
Viet Huong

Melanie’s Take

We were with some friends at Jason’s Deli, eating our sandwiches, when one of our friends started talking about Viet Huong. The way he described a dish they had called a clay pot made me want to go there that minute even though I was up to my eyeballs in a muffaletta. So, a few days later, Shane and I were off to give it a try. Viet Huong is located in a strip mall one Old monrovia, across from Madison Square Mall. It’s not the kind of place you’d notice (at least I hadn’t) even if you’ve been by a hundred times.
Spring Rolls
When we walked in, a friendly hostess pointed us to a table in the middle of the small dining room. We surveyed the menu, looking at items that were truly foreign to us, and chose to start with spring rolls. I’ve had spring rolls before (or at least something called that), but these were unlike any other I’ve had. The texture of the wrapping was chewy, and they were purposefully cold. Inside were shrimp, cilantro, and other fillers. Although they were not the fried variety I expected, I loved the flavor of these spring rolls. The combinations of sweet and salt, especially when dipped in the peanut sauce, were great.
Noodles and Chargrilled Pork
For my entree, I ordered the special clay pot (C11), which was described as a mix of steak, chicken, and seafood atop a bed of rice. The clay pot came to the table piping hot and full to the brim of all the advertised proteins, along with veggies and rice. The flavors were nice and the portion was huge for the price. I especially enjoyed how crispy the rice around the edges of the pot was. Using lots of the sauces on our table, I sampled the dish by adding a little of this and a little of that and found that it was tasty with or without the added sauces. I really enjoyed Viet Huong’s food. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the atmosphere, the service and food will keep us coming back to try other new dishes.

Shane’s Take

I have no trouble finding amusement in a restaurant that serves foreign food. Unless it’s Mexican food, which is usually prepared and served by de facto Americans, it’s hard to predict the experience. From the food to the ambiance to the service, there is no telling what the proprietor might offer up. In most cases, as long as the people are friendly and the food reasonably tasty, even if its identity remains a mystery, I’m satisfied. By that measure, Viet Huong delivers. The store has a friendly, simple atmosphere. Think doctor’s office waiting room with more food and nicer decor but without the rack of Good Housekeepings. It’s relaxing and comfortable without the tension or the coughing. I particularly enjoyed the instrumental Muzak-style musics. Whose tunes were covered I forget, but it surely included some Lionel Richie or Chicago. Either way, I enjoyed it. I also appreciated the lighting, which was bright enough to show some detail on my food but not so bright that I was able to identify heaven-knows-what-that-was sitting in my dish. The service also was nice: refills were plentiful, the waiters were friendly, and the staff seemed to be enjoying each other’s company, which I appreciated. The combination of pleasant decor and friendly service made for a tranquil and pleasant atmosphere.
Noodles and Chargrilled Pork
For my meal, I chose the “B2”, which the menu described as a noodle dish with chargrilled pork and strips of pork skin. I really didn’t know what to expect, but as the picture shows, it arrived looking palatable and tasty. The pork itself had a really nice grilled flavor, that unique but enjoyable restaurant-style grill flavor that doesn’t come from a Weber. I also enjoyed the texture and simple flavor of the pork skins, which fortunately bore no resemblance to those strange meatpuffs Wal-mart sells. On the other hand, the vegetables that accompanied the meat were stranger than, I don’t know, fiction? I took one bite of them, lifted an eyebrow at the curious flavor, and left the rest alone. Despite the vegetables, I enjoyed my dish and definitely would order it again. I recommend Viet Huong. It delivers a pleasant dining experience with attentive service, flavoral and interesting food, and a delightful atmosphere. Takeaways:
  • This is a place to go condiment wild. A restaurant doesn’t place five sauces on the table and not expect you to use them, so use them. They run the gamut of flavors and make nice complements to the food.
  • Don’t cheat yourself by not trying a spoonful of the fish sauce.
  • The spring rolls may look and feel like rubber, but they taste good. I recommend a try.
Viet Huong Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

4 Responses

  1. Chelsea Green

    My mom LOVES this place. I highly recommend the chicken noodle soup. It sounds standard, I know, but it’s great! Especially with a dash (or in my case a heaping spoonful) of the Siracha sauce 🙂

  2. Sherry Hamilton

    My favorite dish here is the chicken soup because it comes with a plate full of veggies to add to the soup. I love adding all the veggies to the hot soup, and I’ve even made my own take of this soup at home. Darrell’s favorite dish is the chicken clay pot. We also like those cold spring rolls and hot tea.

  3. Heather

    You’ve got to try the beef soup – pho (p6)- it’s WONDERFUL with a hefty dash of Sriracha sauce! My regular is the B6, which is what Shane got, except with grilled shrimp and pork skin.

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