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Rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies © Robert Sommers 2017

Friday, April 26, 2013

Binh Minh Quan

Binh Minh Quan
338 12th St
(between Harrison St & Webster St) 
Oakland, CA 94607
Neighborhood: Oakland Chinatown
(510) 893-8136

I drove into the city last night to see Big Dave. We hung out for a spell and then headed to the East Bay to have dinner with Melissa and Gary. Our destination was a vietnamese restaurant that I had heard good things about, Binh Minh Quan. It is located at Twelfth and Webster, not too far from one of my serious favorites, Le Cheval.

Elizabeth the poster lady had recommended the place, although she said that the servers could be a bit rude at times. "Better than Le Cheval," she said. Right...

We started off with roasted quail, chim cut ro ti. Just okay, pale little guys, hate to say it but they couldn't compare to Le Cheval's. Drab, like most of our food last night.

We shared bites of the vietnamese pancake that BigDave had ordered. Tasteless and boring. not full of much filling.

We followed that up with a combo steam rice vermicelli plate. With this one you dip rice paper into a hot bowl of water and roll your own spring rolls. I fumbled around and Melissa took pity on me and showed me how to do it.

This dish contained lettuce, mint, chicken, shrimp, shrimp cake, egg rolls and meat balls and was actually pretty good. Specially when you dipped your creation into one of the nice sauces that were provided table side.

Dave sucked down a bowl of pho. I nursed a too sweet thai iced coffee.

Great to be with friends but the food was truly underwhelming. Staff was fine, the food was just not very noteworthy and I can't see ever going back again. Maybe it was just a bad night but there are too many good places to eat up here to settle for mediocre.


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