Eatery Review: Kim Phung’s in Austin, Texas

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.

Kim Phung Chinese & Vietnamese Restaurant

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.

BUN THIT NUONG Charcoal pork with vermicelli

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.

Wonton Soup
Hot and Sour Soup
Beef with garlic sauce and dry red pepper #20
Chicken with garlic sauce and dry red pepper (#1)

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

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Katy says:

    I wish there were more little independent eateries around here. I’d guess there are likely more here than there were in Greeley, but I don’t know of all of them yet. Shame I’m not anywhere near Texas, because that looks really good. (And sorry for the flood of comments… I realized I fell very behind on your blog.)

  2. That’s okay! I love the comments at any time. 🙂 And if you ever get down here, Kass and I will take you into Austin as well as a few of the local eateries here in San Marcos. There are so many. I don’t suspect we’ll ever get to all of the ones in Austin before we freakin’ die. LOL

    1. Katy says:

      That would be awesome! I kind of hope to make it down there someday.

  3. It would be! I hope you can! If nothing else, if Kass and I can eventually get into a house to rent and actually furnish it to be guest-friendly, then that would be most awesome to have you here! 🙂

    1. Katy says:

      That would be super! I’m familiar with the plight of guests in an apartment. But I’d love to be able to visit you guys.

  4. Apartments are never big enough! Or guest-friendly. Stupid apartments. LOL

  5. Joe (Da Fatman!) says:

    I should like to explain that the “decent” lunch breaks my cool sister talks about are because I work eleven hour days, and weekends. I always have people commenting on how nice it must be to have “an easy government job.” I invite these people to check my numbers, I invite them to try to beat my numbers, then I tnvite them to find that sweet spot between my hip pockets, and KISS IT. I know Tracy understands this. Unfortunately others don’t. Love ya Tracy!!!

  6. Joe (Da Fatman!) says:

    I must also comment on the food at this place. I absolutely LOVE it. as Tracy mentioned, the bowl keeps getting fuller the more i eat. It is very Paranormal Activities ish. but in a positive way. The only thing better would be a replenishing bank account!

    1. I want to go again, but there are several other places Kass and I want to try when we head up that way. There’s a Lebanese place on Oltorf, but I’m not sure if you’d be game for it. When I looked up Lebanese cooking to see what a typical menu would be like, it was fairly close to Greek and Middle Eastern (duh), so I think you’d like it. I just need to read up on that place and see if there are reviews of it. Hah. Found a website for it. http://www.tarbouchfood.com/ Yes, they used an old Taco Bell, obviously. LOL Aladdin’s in Corpus (while it was open) used an old Long John Silver’s. 😀 Oh and we’ve tried a Baby A’s up there (the one closest to 183 and MOPAC), and it was pretty good. There’s a taco place on N. Lamar we want to try called the Screaming Goat. Do you know anything about it? And we definitely need to go back to the Brick Oven again so that I can take pics and do a review on here.

  7. Joe (Da Fatman!) says:

    Never tried the Screaming Goat. We will have to go there. i am game to try the Lebanese place too! Just let me know when!

    1. We’ve just passed the sign tons of times for Screaming Goat, and we love the name. I looked up the menu online, and it was a little hard to read because you can’t zoom in on it, but it looks pretty reasonably priced, too. Tarbouch is on Oltorf, so I don’t know if you could do that on one of your lunches where you only have an hour, though it’s not as far away as Kim Phung’s, so you might be able to. Kass and I just have to plan for which day we head up there next. 🙂

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