Actually searching for a junior-sized basketball, my daughter and I had a serendipitous encounter with the Hung Cuong Restaurant when stopping at the sporting goods store. Although we didn’t find the basketball (it was actually a winter sports store…) we did find a new Vietnamese restaurant to try. We stopped by before basketball practice later in the week.
Address: 12730 I-10 West Suite 302 (map)
San Antonio, TX
Phone: (210) 691-1500
Immediately we were greeted with a friendly, familiar face! Literally…our waitress remembered my daughter’s favorite dish from her previous place of employment Pho San Antonio (my LONG-time Vietnamese haunt…) Although they didn’t have my daughter’s favorite dumplings, we did find plenty of great treats to eat. Lately on a Pho kick, I ordered the steak Pho which came with beautiful garnishes.
*Although they don’t have a kid’s meal they will serve any dish in a child sized portion, including the soups. Also, I always ask for an extra bowl if I get the Pho to share with my daughter…just 2 things that keep this restaurant family friendly.
Although they don’t have a website, here is a scanned copy of their menu (as of 1/18/2009), click on the images for full-sized versions of the menu:
Items 19 through 51 on the menu are dedicated to various fragrant, hearty soups varying in complexity and intensity.
52 through 63 include every combination of fried rice possible…get yours with shrimp, chicken, shrimp, curry, eggs, or with vegetables. (In case you’re curious, the menu mentions being a Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant which I think contributes to the fried rice dishes.)
Pan Fried Flat Rice Noodles
These are a thicker, egg noodle that are also very tasty. Although I didn’t try this dish yet, I hope to.
Crispy Egg Noodles
This is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes…I have had this several times at San Antonio Pho…I’ll have to taste test it here and also let you know. The thin, crispy noodles pack a great punch with the rich sauces.
Another classic Vietnamese dish, simple and incredibly delicious. Served with fish sauce, rice, pickled carrots and radishes, fresh tomatoes, and cucumbers, this is a great dish to eat in the summer when everything else is too heavy. I normally drizzle half of the sauce on my food (this time I also forgot to ask for a fried egg on top…another tasty topper, not always on the mention…they’ll be impressed when you ask!)
Don’t forget to dip your spring rolls in the sauce as well. Sometimes I mix some of the Sriracha sauce a.k.a. “Cock” Sauce (um, there’s a rooster on the bottle – the menu goes into significant details about this Thai hot sauce from the city of Si Racha) into the fish sauce for my spring rolls (and to evenly mix into pork rice plate…)…only a couple dots for me.
One of my daughter’s favorite Vietnamese dishes is the noodle and egg roll bowl. Although the noodles and egg roll combo normally comes with lettuce, bean sprouts, julienne carrots, and fish sauce, she skips the lettuce and carrots (…she claims until she gets older…) Its another light dish that’s especially refreshing in the summer when heavy dishes are just too much in the extreme San Antonio heat (didn’t have my camera with me when we ordered that dish.)
Hung Cuong Specialties
89-99 include house specials…I’ll be sure to try them and let you know!
To finish up this post, I thought it would be helpful to give a little background on the very popular Vietnamese noodle shop. Pho – rice noodle soup with an incredibly rich, tasty broth. It’s pronounced “fa” like you’re about to say a profane, 4-letter word…and it’s a staple item on any authentic Vietnamese restaurant. It is a HOT (temperature, not spicy) broth filled with various meats and rice noodles that finish cooking in the hotness. Meats vary between thinly sliced steak, flank, brisket, meatballs, chicken, tripe, tendon, or any combination of the aforementioned carnivorous options. It’s incredible comforting on a cold day, when you’re feeling under the weather, the intense flavors instantly transport you into a better place.
Just like you can enhance your favorite browser, you can also dress your broth/soup up with even more flavors!
- Fresh bean sprouts – I dump all of them…it adds a great crunch to the soup!
- Cilantro (I always ask for extra…love it!) I twist into thirds and drop into my soup…I normally cannot do enough…
- Lime wedges (Normally squeeze however many wedges are provided…1-2…)
- Mint Leaves (I only use a couple, torn in half and dropped into the soup…)
- Fresh jalapeno slices (I’m can’t handle super spicy but enjoy a little kick…I normally dunk one jalapeno into my soup and take it out when it starts to taste too spicy.)
- Sriracha sauce (see above)
- Hoison sauce which adds a little sweet and spicy to an already inviting broth. I normally fill up my spoon half-full and stir into the soup
Delicious, enjoyed a lot. Great customer service!