October is the fourth-annual Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delicious features, chef profiles, unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2010."
It's a good thing I'm forcing myself to exercise these days, because OnMilwaukee.com's Dining Month has been a heck of an excuse for me to eat really, really well in October.
My latest journey took me to Hue, 2691 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., which is, to the best of my knowledge, the first Vietnamese restaurant in the Bay View neighborhood.
And it's a wonderful addition.
Of all the Asian food I've eaten over the years, I'm least familiar with Vietnamese cuisine, but Hue makes the best I've ever had. On Friday, I ordered the Bun Thit Nuong beef, which is charbroiled, lemongrass-marinated beef over white vermicelli noodles, mixed with lettuce, mint and more. For $8.50, it was delicious.
My wife ordered the Bún Chay Vegetarian: fried tofu with ginger and garlic marinade over the same noodle mix for the same price. I took a taste of hers, and it was equally light, fresh and tasty.
We shared the Goi Cuon spring rolls as appetizers, too, and left just short of stuffed. In my limited experience, Vietnamese feels a little less heavy than Thai, and much less salty and starchy than Chinese.
Next time I visit, I'll try the pho. And believe me, there will be a next time.
My neighborhood needed a place like Hue, and based on the traffic Friday night, my neighbors agree, too.
The atmosphere at Hue is casual but stylish, interesting colors mixed with bamboos and light woods. One of the owners, Carina Tran, is the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants; the other, Mark Nielsen, isn't Asian -- so diners who might be intimidated by an extremely authentic experience need not be concerned. This is an approachable restaurant for anyone.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.