Word of Mouth: MeKong

June 8th, 2011 by Vanilla Ice



We’re actually getting kinda sick of new restaurants; it’s a bit tedious pointing out the same types of flaws over and over and over again and ultimately being disappointed more often than impressed. (Here’s a novel idea: why don’t you try working to improve the shitty restaurant you already have, rather than opening a new one every nine months, you greedy egomaniacal bastard?) But hey, maybe that’s just us.
Anyhoo! It’s so nice to see you! We hadn’t planned on visiting your place, probably like— ever— but the "word of mouth" on this joint has been pretty outstanding. So, ya know— we’re intrigued. We’re hoping that good "word of mouth" is all genuine, and we can get us some of that good in our mouth. Word.
What’s that? You’d love to take advantage of all our vast experience, knowledge, insight, and expertise as long as we’re already here? Because you’re hoping we’ll like it and help spread the news, since you fired your publicist long ago for not doing jack shit for you?
Of course, we’d be honored. Oh ha, yesss, we’ll be honest— brutally honest even, ha ha! After all, that’s what obnoxious opinionated food-bloggers are for!
No no please, don’t send anything more, we’re stuffed, we can’t breathe, you’ll have to roll us out of here, ha ha ha… !



What exactly made you choose our restaurant?
OK, let’s face it— MeKong is a downtown institution. I know lots and lots of people who make MeKong their home away from home, from way back when it was still at its original location on Prince St in NoLita (even before NoLita bcame so hip and commercial). It was just a matter of time before I made it (back) here.

What was your first impression?
Ah, same ole MeKong. The vibe and the crowd, I mean.

Please rate the Bar:
Not quite as big as the original, but still sizeable and accommodating. Just a simple, no fuss no muss watering hole. Please don’t feed the denizens (they don’t bite, but sometimes they drool a little).

Please rate the drinks/ cocktails/ wine:
For such a down-home kind of Asian restaurant, they’re pretty solidly stocked on the booze. Good reasonable prices (as usual). Personally, I opted for the $38 bottle of Les Domaniers by Domaine Ott rosé. (See what I mean?)

Please rate the Dining Room:
It’s big. And cozy enough. But, come on— everybody knows the sidewalk is where it’s at.

Please rate the BOH:
Solid and consistent after all these decades. Just good no-frills Vietnamese home cooking. Admittedly, some dishes fare better than others; you’ll just have to come often enough (like most of their patrons) to pick your faves, and then stick with those.

How was the staff?
Surprisingly conscientious, actually. Friendly, adept, and unpretentious— what more do you need?

What did you eat?/ How was the food?
Chicken salad : Light, fresh, and summery with nice spicy bite and a hearty vinegary twang. Delicious.
Shrimp rolls : Very good. Crisp and tasty.
Filet mignon au beurre :
Excellent. Tender and succulent. A great satisfying dish.
Chicken pad thai : Classic. Huge! (Share it.)
Soft shell crab : Very good. Batter-dipped and fried, but not greasy. Nice quality.
Sauteed spinach : Just slightly more cooked than I would have preferred, but good. Also maybe a tad salty for some tastes, but I liked it.


What did you like?
♪ ♪ Memmmorrriiieeess….. ♪ ♪

What did you dislike?
Well OK, the outdoor metal tables and chairs are a little ghetto… but maybe that adds to the charm.

What was your last impression?
Oh look, it’s Famke Janssen.

Would you come back?
Siempre, mang, siempre.

Thank you, and hope to see you soon!
Thanks, Brian— It’s great to see you. You’re a legend, dude.



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