After flying into Seattle, I drove down to Portland, because well, I love Portland. Not being able to wait until Portland to eat, especially because my flight was awfully late, we stopped in Olympia for a bite to eat. I had done some research and that’s how we ended up at Lemon Grass. It’s an adorable and attractive place in a really nice area of Olympia. There was lots of hustle and bustle and restaurants and it was just plain adorable.
We got some tea, which came in this heavy cast iron pot. The place was tastefully decorated and had two main dining areas. One was almost full when we got there and we pretty much snagged the last booth before a rush came on. Once we left, they had opened up the other dining area.
The Hot and Spicy Noodles, with wide rice noodles, prawns, eggs, broccoli, onions, bell peppers, cabbage, green beans, water chestnuts, baby corn, bamboo shoots, and carrots in a special sweet sauce. You can add spice to any dish and you can decide on your own level of spice. This was like drunken noodles, except not as hot, but just as tasty. Really, every bit of this was perfect.
But really, this Mee Quang was even more perfect. Lemon Grass is a thai restaurant, but they had two vietnamese dishes at the end of the menu. The absolute last thing on the menu was this mee quang. I had no idea what this was, I had never heard of it before, but it sounded amazing. And am I damn glad that I ordered it, because it was amazing! It is a central vietnamese style noodle salad, with thinly sliced pork, chicken, and prawns served over a bed of wide and thick yellow rice noodles with lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts, and fresh herbs. It was like a vermicelli bowl, only with thicker and heartier noodles, with a variety of meats, served warm, and with even more flavor than you could ever imagine. It was one of the best things I’ve eaten in awhile. My experience in vietnamese food is actually quite narrow… I’ve always focused on pho, vermicelli bowls, and rice plates. I think this mee quang shows just how little I’ve tasted of a cuisine with such depth and breadth. This place was great! And portion sizes are large, the prices are reasonable, and the service was good. Highly recommended if you are in the area!