Long’s Provincial Vietnamese Restaurant (downtown Seattle)

22Jul09

long duk dongSure, you’ll try, but failure is certain. I challenge you. Simply dine at the new Long’s Provincial (located downtown Seatown on 2nd Ave) without making one Long Duk Dong reference. Impossible. It simply cannot be done. I’m sure all the waiters have been overwhelmed with questions about parking the car, all in an effort to squeeze in a “Where is grandpa’s otto-moh-beeeeel?”

But once you get passed this Molly Ringwald Moment you can move on to an amazing dining experience choosing options from a menu the size of the Iliad. And although they try to break it down into segments, I suspect that unless Vietnamese is one of your native tongues, you’ll encounter the same challenges we did. Where to start? Where to finish? How big are the plates? Fortunately our waitress was well trained for diners like us, interested in trying a couple tasty food things without having to use a wheel burrow to get our leftovers home.

We started with the Garlic Butter Crispy Chicken Wings and devoured them with righteous delight. They were perfectly cooked, served piping hot with finger-licking glaze of toasted garlic chips in soft melted butter. For extra spice a fiery dip is provided.

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Next I opted for the Duck Salad, while my fatty companion dined on a marinated saucy chicken number. A follow-up trip provided an opportunity to describe the coconut braised in browned pork and long provincial rolls as simply heavenly. And although that’s two trips in the last 10 days, I hear another visit is being jotted down in the calendar for yet another round of wings, worthy of a FattyChow Ribbon of Honour. Meanwhile, I am hopelessly unable to re-locate any of these items on the online menu, but you should try something new anyway. There are mountains of vegetarian options for you meatless mavens. I can only imagine the spring rolls (of which there seem to be a few thousand varieties) are spectacular, as we watched many other patrons enjoy them immensely.

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Unfortunately on our elected evening the kitchen had completely sold out of popular street-side bean desserts – the ones where the red/white beans are served with sweetened condensed milk and piled on shaved ice. I’m certain I’ve seen Anthony Bourdain chow this one down in some back Vietcong alley once used by locals to dodge showers of American bullets and bombs. So save room for dessert, and rest easy knowing a portion of your bill will probably find its way back to the ‘Nam homeland to rebuild yet another society we so effectively dismantled.

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