When I want a quick, cheap place to eat out, Vietnamese cuisine always crosses my mind. But since I've been in Edmonton, I haven't found a reliable joint with a combination of delicious food and fair prices. I have tried Pho Hoan Pasteur, Pho Tau Bay, Pho Hoang & Mama Pizza and Thanh and Thanh scouring the rough streets of Edmonton for my favorite Vietnamese restaurant. I must admit that when I'm looking for a new place to eat, I turn to Urbanspoon to see which restaurants have scored the highest percentages. This led me to try Xue Hue Vietnamese Restaurant. I am always a bit fearful when I go to Downtown Chinatown (those in Edmonton know what I'm talking about), but for good food I might be willing to make the journey.
Stepping into Xue Hue, I noticed that it was quite clean with the normal Asian decor. A few of the tables were filled, but the majority of the restaurant was empty.
Xu Hue has an extensive twelve + page menu (see below for FULL menu), consisting of Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine. Now, I usually judge a Vietnamese restaurant based on how good their Pho is (most famous dish). Pho (pronounced "fuh") is a dish made up of rice noodles, beef broth and various cuts of meats. However, this time I was in the mood for something different so I decided on takeout of the Special Hue's beef noodle spicy soup (aka. Bun Bo Hue Dac Biet) and the Four Color Vermicelli.
The owner was very friendly, giving me a pot of tea as I waited for my order to be prepared. Overhearing him, I could tell that he spoke both Vietnamese and Chinese.
|Four Color Vermicelli|
The "four color" vermicelli ($10.95) consisted of shrimp, pork, beef and chicken with a side of two spring rolls. The meats were both flavorful and generous in portion size. The chicken, pork and beef had a nice charcoal flavor from the grill but the shrimp wasn't anything special. The spring rolls also were standard for any Vietnamese restaurant. What surprised me the most was the amount of vermicelli noodles - there was literally a two-person portion of noodles to go along with a plentiful one-person portion of meat.
|Bun Bo Hue Dac Biet|
The Special Hue's beef noodle spicy soup consisted of thicker rice noodles (like spaghetti size) with various Vietnamese ham, fatty pieces of pork and cilantro and green onions. There was a nice balance of sweet, spicy, sour and salty between the broth and the meats. Although the broth was good, I was a bit disappointed as it seemed that the owners took the normal broth for Pho and just added some hot sauce (shown in above picture). But overall, the portion size, the price of the dishes, along with the quality of food will cause me to come back to Xue Hue Vietnamese Restaurant to try their other dishes (more specifically the Pho).
Top Pick of the Night: Bun Bo Hue Dac Biet