Mekong River, located on Central Avenue in Columbia Heights, has been open for about a month now—and its owner, a determined, energetic woman who goes by the nickname Meow, has been working 15-hour days to make sure it’s a success.
It’s a cozy space with walls painted a soothing shade of lilac, a perfect canvas for the flavorful dishes she and her team are serving up.
We checked out the lunch buffet this weekend to bring you five more things to know before stopping in.
1. This restaurant is years in the making.
Meow worked in restaurants throughout the Twin Cities for years—cooking, bookkeeping, buying food. She’s pretty much done it all. So, five years ago, she decided she’d open her own restaurant one day.
2. It’s near the Heights Theater.
Planning to catch a show at the Heights? Mekong River is just a block away, meaning you can grab a delicious meal before or after your movie. (Maybe make it a matinee—there's an all-you-can-eat buffet every day from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
3. Your food is prepared by three women Meow considers family.
Because Meow has worked extensively throughout the Cities, she’s met tons of people and approached the best about working in her restaurant. One woman told Meow she considers her a daughter.
4. The only food on the Mekong River menu is food Meow wants to eat.
“I’m picky,” Meow says. Luckily, she isn’t so picky that the menu is at all limited. You’ll find familiar dishes like Pad Thai and vegetable egg rolls alongside duck curry and, her personal favorite, sukiyaki. They regularly feature specials—when we stopped in for lunch, we’d missed the pumpkin curry by a day—so visit often.
5. They’ll have their liquor license next month.
Once Mekong River obtains its liquor license, a selection of wine and beer will be served, with a happy hour running from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Imagine a Surly Furious paired with pepper steak. Sounds pretty outstanding, right?
4022 Central Ave., Columbia Heights; 763-788-0905, mekongrivers.com