Pho K.O.

Ngon Bistro defies all conventional wisdom and opens in Frogtown with elegance to burn, wine for the ages, and the best beef pho in town

They know pho: Ngon Bistro's Jessica Ainsworth-Troung and Hai Troung
Bill Kelley
They know pho: Ngon Bistro's Jessica Ainsworth-Troung and Hai Troung

Location Info


Ngon Bistro

799 University Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104

Category: Restaurant > Vietnamese

Region: Macalester/Groveland

It's funny. I've probably watched dozens of Vietnamese teenagers dumping bowls of pho into the bins on table bussing-carts at their parents' restaurants over the years, but I never thought about what a lifetime of bussing pho might lead to. For one thing, it seems to lead to some very firm thoughts about entrepreneurship—Hai Truong told me that his fantastic beer and wine list stems from two places; one, his experiments with home-brewing, and two, his fierce commitment to helping other independent entrepreneurs, such as the little vintners and brewers whom he supports with his list. For another, it leads to a deep sense that you can do better—you could make the desserts a bit more unique (I forgot to mention the mung bean cheesecake!), the room a lot prettier, the experience more memorable. You could make broth for your pho so good that people trumpet your name far and wide and threaten to fill Super Soaker water guns with it, just to prove to people that there is a difference between average pho broth and the kind you want to tell the world about. 

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