Spotlight: Minh’s Vietnamese Bistro In Rehoboth
In this episode of Coastal Cuisine, host Michael Sprouse visits one of the newer additions to the Delmarva dining scene – Minh’s Bistro.
Located at 18949 Coastal Hwy in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Minh’s Bistro features delicious, authentic Vietnamese dishes. Using only fresh ingredients and no MSG, owner Thinh Pham prides himself on offering healthier options and on being the first – and at present – the only Vietnamese restaurant in Rehoboth and neighboring Lewes.
The staple, of course, of any Vietnamese restaurant is Pho. Pho is a hearty, fragrant, Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles (called banh pho) selected herbs and meat (it can be made with either beef, chicken) or vegetables and/or tofu for the vegetarian option.
Each bowl of Pho is served with a side of bean sprouts, freshly sliced jalapenos, Thai basil, cilantro and culantro . Fun Food Fact: culantro is not an alternate spelling of cilantro. Culantro and cilantro are not the same plants.
If you’re new to Pho (which - by the way - is pronounced “Fuh” and not “Foe”), you’re in for a true taste sensation. The portion is enormous and the aroma is heavenly. It’s an exotic, spicy (at a level which you can control by request or by adding sauces or the jalapeno slices), savory and incredibly satisfying culinary experience from your first bite.
It’s also one of those dishes that you simply never forget experiencing for the first time. For example, during the course of shooting the Minh’s Bistro episode, Sprouse was discussing with some of the younger staff (all of whom had never experienced Pho until they began working at Minh’s), that he had his first encounter with the dish some twenty years ago at a unassuming, little eatery in Falls Church, Virginia called Pho 50 (which, upon recent look, is still in operation).
The front of the house American staff at Minh’s were “instantly hooked” after trying Pho and several other classic Vietnamese entrees available on the menu. It’s a safe bet that they won’t forget thier first Pho encounter either. Let’s just say, the entire experience at Minh’s Bistro was pho-nomenal (ba-dum ching)!
On a more serious note, Thinh has a fascinating and engrossing story about his own journey from war shattered Vietnam to the United States when he was a young man. Born and raised in Saigon during the height of the Vietnamese War, Thinh was able to escape the Communist country at the age of 19 during a truly grueling three-month journey.
His rise from a non-English speaking refugee to George Washington University graduate with a degree in electrical engineering to restaurant owner close to 30 years later is uncanny and I highly suggest you read his heartfelt story here.
All it takes is one conversation with Thinh about his story to understand that he is quite serious and authentic about his debt of gratitude to the United States. To thank them for their sacrifice and service on behalf of himself, his family and his countrymen, Thinh offers all Vietnam veterans as well as all active members of the military and their spouses in his adopted country of the United States, a fifty percent discount the first Wednesday of every month.
For more about Minh’s Bistro visit www.minhsbistro.com.
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