Trieu Chau, The Return (St. Paul, MN)

My report on El Triunfo last week was supposed to have been my last/only Minnesota food report in January but, yet again, I fail to keep my word. Our older boy spent the second half of last week at a gathering of juvenile nerds in the Twin Cities called Youth in Government and we had the opportunity on Saturday to tour the capitol and see the kids in action. Our own boy, being an 8th grader, wasn’t actually at the Capitol but it was still cool and not a little ironic to see a bunch of high-school kids doing a better job of modeling American democracy than actual Republican members of the House of Representatives in Washington DC. And since the tour was at 1, we decided it would be easiest to have a quick lunch down the road in St. Paul beforehand. Which is how we found ourselves once again on the Twin Cities’ true Eat Street, at one of our favourite Vietnamese restaurants, Trieu Chau.

This was our first in-person meal at Trieu Chau since the start of the pandemic. (I’ve previously reported on pre-pandemic in-person meals there, and on a pandemic takeout experience.) It was very nice to go back in person. The restaurant was not quite as bustling as it has been on our past outings—well, it was close to full but we didn’t have to wait as we invariably used to have to (it’s a small’ish space). There are some other cosmetic changes to the interior and the prices on the menu are now a bit higher than at the meals I reported on in 2017 but the food is, by and large, as good as it’s ever been.

We were just the three of us—the missus, me and our younger boy—and so didn’t do a huge amount of damage. What did we eat? We split an order of spring rolls to start. The missus got a bowl of the pho dac biet (the one with everything in it) to follow; the boy got the, bun thap cam (rice vermicelli with grilled pork, skewered meatballs and a cut-up eggroll; I got their bun bo hue. Everything was very tasty. Their bun bo hue broth remains on the lighter side—I’m guess it’s just their pho broth with added spices—but is tasty nonetheless. The pho broth itself is very good, though on the lighter end of the spectrum. The meats in the pho and bun bo hue were a bit inconsistent thought: the brisket and the rare steak were fine but neither the flank nor the tendon were as tender as they ought to be (and usually are). The boy enjoyed his noodle combo but couldn’t finish the whole adult-sized portion—we brought the leftovers home.

For a look at the restaurant and what we ate, click on an image below to launch a slideshow with captions. Scroll down to see how much it all cost and what’s coming next.

With tax and tip the total came to exactly $56. Not quite the steal it was in 2017 but still very reasonably priced.

What’s next? This really will be the last Minnesota restaurant report for the month. As you’re reading this I’m either a few hours away from landing in Delhi or have just done so. It won’t be my last Minnesota report per se though: this weekend I will probably have a look at a major market up in the northern suburbs. And then I’ll get started on my Los Angeles reports.



One thought on “Trieu Chau, The Return (St. Paul, MN)

  1. I really like Trie Chau. It’s past time I get back to it.

    Have you tried Pho 79’s Nicollet location? I tried it for first time a week ago and was pleasantly surprised. I think it’s clearly better than Quang or the Pho 79 at Energy Park drive and Raymond.

    The broth was outstanding.


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