Starving after a long day of work, my friend Laura and I stepped out for a girl’s dinner at Veranda Noodle Bar. I have been telling her about this restaurant’s amazingness for over a year now. Seriously, this place is staple in my life. I first ate here with my brother, Philip, and his friend Alex in March 2010. Mark and I had just moved to Portland a few months earlier and were still new to the food scene when Philip found this restaurant online (he was desperate for some duck). The first encounter was amazing and Mark and I have been eating here on a regular basis ever since. The prices are excellent for the amount of food you get (I usually get two meals out of mine) and the quality is amazing. So, we drove there straight from work and told our friend Jacq to meet us there.
We arrived about 15 minutes before Jacq so we hopped on the drinks. Hue, a Vietnamese beer, for me. Singha, a Thai beer, for Laura. When Jacq arrived she went for the Hue too. I thought it was a good beer—light and crisp. I knew it would be cutting the massive amounts of Sriracha I would be putting in my mí. Laura loved her Singha.
We ordered some crab rangoons to start while I did a quick run though of the menu for the girls since they weren’t familiar with Vietnamese food.
The rangoons are the best in Portland. Perfectly crisp and wonderfully creamy. Jacq commented that they weren’t very “crabby” and she is right, so that would be my only complaint. Other than that I think they are heavenly.
When the waiter came to take our order Laura went for the Pho Ga. An amazingly solid choice.
Pho Ga is made with a deliciously spiced and slow simmered chicken broth with rice noodles. It also comes with a side plate of bean sprouts, tons of beautiful Thai basil, lime and chili peppers. She loved and it, and told me she would definitely be coming back for more.
Jacq decided on the Mein Ga. It is a clear noodle soup that comes with in a chicken broth with chicken and clear “bean thread” noodles made from bean starches. It comes with a side of lettuce, bean sprouts and fried red onions.
She really enjoyed it and thought the clear noodles were interesting. I think she would probably try something different next time she goes, but was overall intrigued by the experience.
I decided to order something I hadn’t ordered there before—Mí Hoanh Thanh. Since I usually order Pho when I go I decided to try something with yellow noodles instead of the rice noodles the pho comes with. The Mí Hoanh Thanh is wonton noodle soup in a pork broth with yellow noodles, pork and ground chicken and shrimp wontons. It comes with a side plate of bean sprouts, lettuce, fried red onions, lime, and chili peppers to add to your soup pot as you wish. I added the chili peppers and sriracha for extra spice and some hoisin for a bit of sweetness. It was incredible and I will definitely be ordering it again when I don’t feel like having pho.
Overall, I think this is an excellent restaurant. I have never had a bad meal here and constantly tell people that they need to try it. So, now I’ll tell you, if you haven’t been you need to go now. Veranda is the pho king in Portland.