The Boston Phoenix
June 3 - 10, 1999

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Viet Hong

The hungriness of the long-distance diner

by Chris Wright

Visiting Viet Hong is like running a marathon. You start out fresh and limber, lapping up a "small" asparagus soup ($2.95), a bathtub of sweet broth with mushrooms, baby corn, crab (fake), asparagus, and quail eggs. You're still humming as you tuck into a plate of bun ($3.50), a heap of seared tofu with grilled onions, rice noodles, and a salad doused in minty dressing. Before you're done here, however, another plate will cast a shadow across the table: barbecued beef with lemongrass ($7.50), slivers of sweet, sticky, honey-marinated beef on a hillock of veggies and noodles. Then (please!) comes the crispy squid with pepper sauce ($7.95), a tangle of batter-fried squid, sopping sweet with a bite of black pepper, flanked by onions, snow peas, bean sprouts, and red peppers. You're flagging. You want to say no more but you can't. You go on. Before staggering out with an armful of take-home, you're given fortune cookies, orange slices, and the check. Between two people, you've spent a total of $23, you've eaten more than is humanly decent, and you have lunch for the next three days. Well worth going the distance for.

Luckily, Viet Hong doesn't serve dessert.

Viet Hong, located at 182 Brighton Avenue, in Allston, is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Closed Mondays. Call (617) 254-3600.

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