Eat This Now! Vermicelli Salad at Lao Thai

John Garland // Growler Magazine

John Garland // Growler Magazine

We’ve been riding the new rail this week, talking to business owners about the completed corridor and getting their thoughts on the future. We’ll bring you more of that next week on the site. For now, a quick reminder to get out there and support the businesses that have suffered the last few years.

For example, the Green Line is the perfect opportunity to explore the restaurants of Little Mekong if you haven’t yet. I’m a big fan of Trieu Chau, Cheng Heng and Ngon Bistro, but am particularly partial to Lao Thai. In the bright red building at the corner of University and Mackubin, they’re well regarded for their larb, and offer absurd deals at lunch, with a handful of their stir-fry and noodle dishes in combos for $7.

Right now, a big steaming bowl of pho or tom yum sounds about as pleasant as a punch in the face. So my standard summer order at Indo-Chinese joints is a vermicelli salad (or bún thịt nướng in Vietnamese), that is, cold rice noodles atop a bed of lettuce. At Lao Thai, it’s dressed with cucumber, shrimp, pork, crushed peanuts and two diced egg rolls. Douse the whole thing in nước chấm (above, right) and you’re in noodle heaven.

What’s most intriguing for Lao Thai right now is their participation in the Little Mekong Night Market. The inaugural market got washed out last Saturday, but mark your calendars for Saturday, July 5th from 5-10pm (we’ll remind you closer to the date). The Night Market features food from the area restaurants, produce stands, crafts and other merchandise for sale, along with live music.

Annee Sengmavong tells us that if business at Lao Thai really takes off, they’d like to expand their Night Market street food into a food truck. And since you’re going to want pork belly bao buns, chicken larb tacos and BBQ short rib sandwiches outside your office, let’s make it happen.

Lao Thai, 501 University Ave W., St. Paul, MN, 651.224.5026

About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.

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