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2005.09.02

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RST

Thanks for introducing me to Mi Quang through your posts on Chowhound from two (or three?) years ago and through detailed email elaborations. It's now one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes. There are two places in Chicago I can enjoy this: both versions are quite good and come very close to the true item-including the precise proportion of broth to solids, the range of condiments/garnishes and the final touch of a black-sesame-speckled banh da on top. Alas, both places use a high-quality store-bought substitute for the noodle. I think I have asked you this before but forgot the answer: are you supposed to taste the turmeric in the noodle or is it strictly only for coloring?

RST

I was just asked which two places in Chicago I referred to: they are Anh Linh (where mi quang is not on the menu, but listed as a special on their window) and Quan An Ba Mian. Dong Ky also lists mi quang, but their version is a travesty. I once called it a Saigonized/Sinicized version, with way too much soup (both Anh Linh and Ba Mian's broth are literally no more than 2 or 3 fingers deep), the improper balance of flavor/ingredients and a presentation that seems to have no notion at all of what the original must be like. The condiments are all wrong-and no sesame-studded rice cracker to finish off the dish either!!!

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