[Restaurant Review] Thuy Trang

Posted by Obake on Jul 15, 2011 in Advice/Tips, Naturally Gluten Free, Restaurant Reviews |

This is a review of Thuy Trang on John R. Rd., Madison Heights, MI.

There is one thing you can eat without any problem among Asian food, and that is Phở. What is pho? It is a savoury soup made with beef broth, herbs (usually with a heavy anise flavour), rice noodles, and various kinds of meat and vegetables. Every restaurant has a subtly different way of making this. Most of the places along John R, also known by some of the locals as Lil Saigon, are air conditioned, making it a year-round meal. It is pretty much the only thing I got at Viet restaurants, even before I went gluten free.

There are four or five places you can get pho in this area alone. But my favourite of these is Thuy Trang. It is a tiny shop that seats maybe 45 if it were completely full, and it is late in the evening, so it is recommended to get there before 8pm. They serve other food, but if you look around at your fellow diners, you’ll see that the main attraction is the pho. This is a sit-down place, and I recommend that you have a bit of time to eat.

You can order your pho any way you like, from the medium-cooked beef slices with meatballs (my favourite), to a full deluxe bowl, which has medium cooked beef slices, beef tendon, beef tripe, and meatballs in it if you are feeling adventurous. The meatballs I should point out now are gluten free (I checked), and are nothing like any sort of meatball you’ve ever had. They’re chewy and dense, made of just meat, tendon, and spices, so you may not like them, but I recommend that you try them at least once. You can order any bowl with extra of something you like, or omit things you don’t like. It comes with a very large platter of bean sprouts, Asian mint, jalapeno slices, and slices of lime. You can put as much or as little of these as you like in your soup, and I am especially partial to the bean sprouts.

I also had a Vietnamese iced coffee, which is strong iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk on top. Very good and recommended.

Be aware that the hoisin sauce that is on the table is not gluten free, so avoid it. The sriracha however is gluten free, so you can have as much of that as you like, but it is hot, so don’t put it in unless you like hot condiments. Also, while beef pho is gluten free, chicken pho may not be (chicken boullion and soup starter often has wheat, while beef does not), so always ask. Likely though, every shop in this neighborhood does not use instant stock.

Though this place is probably not entirely safe to eat at if you eat the other food, the chances are strong you will come here for the pho, which is safe to eat. Thus, this restaurant gets an A. Highly recommended.

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