After moving up to the Texas Hill Country, and in truth, after my roommate Kass (the proud owner of The Tyger’s Playground) got her car last September, we’ve made it a point to travel as much as possible around San Marcos as well as many of the outlying towns and cities. We haven’t made it to San Antonio…yet, but we have gone frequently to New Braunfels, Gruene, Kyle, Taylor, Wimberley, Austin…you get the point, so of course, traveling out and about means doing one of my favorite things: eating. When we go to these different places, we try to avoid eating at chain restaurants that anyone could eat at anywhere at any time. Instead, we’ve been researching the towns before we get there just to see what eateries are available. Google is a miraculous invention.
When we adventure into Austin, we usually go in on Kass’ day off during the week, and then we meet up with my brother Joe on his lunch break. Since’s he’s lived in Austin for a good chunk of his life, he knows a lot of good places to eat. And he works for the Texas Workforce Commission at the capital, so he also has some decent lunch breaks. We’ve eaten at a few places that I would like to go back to, take pics and review (The Tavern, Suzi’s Chinese Kitchen, The Brick Oven), but for today, I’m going to touch on one of Joe’s favorite places where we ate at the last time we ventured into the city: Kim Phung’s Chinese and Vietnamese.
The atmosphere was very relaxed and groovy; definitely, there was no pretentiousness about the place. I could tell right away that this is a popular eatery (almost all the tables were filled, I thought we’d have to wait for one), and there were all manner of folks eating there. Business folk, police folk, casually-dressed-touristy-looking folk. The hostess was friendly, the waitress was friendly and prompt and just the right amount of attentiveness that’s neither too evasive nor too invasive. The food. Sweet Mary, the food was great. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Now, Joe always gets a noodle bowl called BUN THIT NUONG (Charcoal pork with vermicelli), aka #31 on the Bun pdf page of the online menu. I thought about getting one of those meals, but honestly, as fantastic as they looked, my stomach was very pleased that I didn’t. At least, not on a hot Texas afternoon when I wasn’t going to be doing near enough walking to exercise off the massive amount that comes in the bowls. I’m pretty sure that I watched Joe get nearly to the end of the bowl only for it to fill right back up. I don’t know. Do noodles have sex and multiply that quickly? Wow.
Kass and I were a little less adventurous that day, but our meals were no less delicious. We both ordered from the lunch menu. Kass ordered the Chicken with garlic sauce (#1 Lunch pdf), and I ordered the Beef with garlic sauce (#20). Our meals came with egg rolls (which were good) and bowls of soup. Kass ordered the wonton soup and I got the hot and sour. Now I’ll admit that I usually love hot and sour soup, and Kim Phung’s was good. It was different, however. Sweeter than I’ve ever had it. It isn’t my favorite hot and sour soup; no that honor goes to the now defunct Golden Pacific in Corpus Christi. The second best goes to Shanghai in San Antonio.
So if you get a chance to go to Austin and are looking for a great place or Chinese or Vietnamese cuisine at a reasonable price and comfortable atmosphere, I highly recommend Kim Phung’s.
7601 North Lamar Blvd., Suite I, Austin TX, 78753
Phone Number: (512)451-2464