On the corner of 16th St. and 5th Ave. in downtown Moline, you’ll find probably the most elegant Oriental restaurant in the QCA, serving 5 star food by 5 star waitstaff. It started out as a very small store front – it expanded into what it is now because so many people find the food delicious. If you like Chinese, you’ll love Vietnamese!
One look at the beautiful decor, and you’ll think the menu will be way out of line for the Under $10 Diner. And, actually, it is a dollar or two more than that for most of the items you can order. But, on the whole, go ahead and spend that extra money – you’ll never regret it.
If Vietnamese food is new to you, the easiest way to order is pick something under your favorite protein. Everything is divided by fish, pork, chicken, shrimp, sea scallops, and beef. There’s also tofu and mock duck meat catagories, but I’ve not tried them yet. What’s mock duck meat…..My favorite meal is the Monsoon Curry Shrimp, with a huge amount of shrimp, tomatoes, onions and zuchini in a spicy but not hot curry sauce. And it’s only 10.50. Several friends have had the Curry Chicken and Chicken cashew, at $9.50, and we all enjoyed sampling those dishes! There’s a large number of noodle dishes for $9.95, and a selection of fried rice at $6.95 to $7.50. It’s similar to any Chinese menu, but Vietnamese food calls for a different combination of spices that are addictive.
The appetizers are very reasonable – $1.95 for 2 crab rangoon up to $6.95 for the Sampler. Or try the grilled mussels or pork shish kebob for $3.50. Ask the waiter to explain the spring rolls to you before you order them – they may not be to your taste… The wonderful soups are downright cheap – $2.50 for the asparagus and crabmeat soup, with a flavorful broth that highlights the ingredients, and $2.95 for the rest. My favorite is Canh Bay or crab corn chowder, fragrant with corn and crabmeat.
The fish items run $10.50 and $13.50, the pork $9.95 and 10.50, chicken $9.50, beef $10.95 and sea scallops $12.50. And there’s special items that I want to come back and try, like Blue Moon, which is rice cooked in a clay pot with mushrooms and chicken. A lot of drama for only $9.95.
I hope you’ll give it a try – I’m almost sure you’ll enjoy it very much. It’s located at 1606 – 5th Ave., in Moline, and their phone number is 797-3709. There’s also a lunch buffet Tuesday through Friday, which is how they started out so many years ago.