My Lan ~ Haltom City, Texas

You may have noticed that we haven't featured any Vietnamese restaurants in the RJG yet (though Mr. Music did one a few months ago). We rarely eat Vietnamese is the obvious reason. And to be honest, we haven't been motivated to do such, and tend to spend our Asian food dollars on the excellent local Thai restaurants almost exclusively, with an occasional Chinese take-out meal. Strange then when you realize that Mrs. RJG and I, when we were dating love birds in 1996, spent most of our dinner time at one Vietnamese restaurant in Denver. That would be Kim Ba, and it remains, perhaps not surprisingly, our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in the country. We were regular visitors until 2003 when we relocated to NE Tarrant. (And I hope to write about it on the RJG at some point). So when we arrived here, we asked about local Vietnamese food, and were promptly pointed to Haltom City. We tried a couple of the noodle houses from there, and they were definitely good, and perhaps one day we will revisit those places (that are remaining nameless for now) and do a quick writeup. But for whatever reason, we just stopped. We couldn't see ourselves going any further south in Haltom City than Bangkok Cuisine - and we are regulars at that fine Thai restaurant to this day. We've had a couple of Vietnamese restaurants up here in Southlake and Keller, but they either went out of business or they're just not that good.

Earlier this year we had an excellent bowl of pho while in Santa Fe, New Mexico - and that prompted Mrs. RJG to suggest that perhaps we get back down to Haltom City and soon. And finally that moment arrived on a recent Sunday. Mrs. RJG suggested I put away NFL Red Zone for the final half of the second games (sacrilege!) and go for some Vietnamese food. And shoot, the Cowboys had the game in hand. I mean it was 26-3 over Green Bay at home. Surely even they won't screw this up. Ah, the memories.... Anyway I agreed to it. So I went over to Urbanspoon to see what they said was the highest rated Vietnamese restaurant in Haltom City. And up popped My Lan. That wasn't one we'd been to before, and so we pointed the cattle mobile south and off we went. 121 to Beach, head west past Belknap, right turn in the first shopping center, and we're there. We recognize this center for Thai Belknap (an OK Thai place, but there's much better) and Pho Bella, the latter which might be closed now.

Like many Vietnamese restaurants, the inside decor is non-existent. It's like eating inside a gas station convenience store with poor lighting and old booths. Service is just there - meaning when they have time to get to you, they will. Otherwise you wait, and don't complain. My Lan serves the local Vietnamese immigrant community, and they are all about great food and reasonable prices. The Dining Experience is not high on their list of priorities. OK with us! Mrs. RJG and I were joined by my official Mother-in-Law known in these pages as Chula. I had a bowl of Meatball soup, Mrs RJG had the grilled beef on vermicelli, and Chula had the Lemongrass chicken. My bowl was huge, with an excellent broth filled with cilantro and chives. The meatballs were firm and tasty. Mrs. RJG's grilled beef was superb, with wonderful charbroiled tastes. And I quite liked the lemongrass chicken sample I tried, which had a nice zip to it.

Maybe we'll try another Vietnamese restaurant in Haltom City, but we don't need to. My Lan is excellent, and truly all we could want for the style (beyond perhaps a nicer restaurant recalling our beloved Kim Ba in Denver). Need a suggestion for Vietnamese? Give My Lan a shot. Just come with an appetite and no expectations of fine dining.

Note: Closed on Wednesday's.

My Lan Restaurant on Urbanspoon


bourgon said…
Pretty good place. Lots of awesome places right on that strip. My personal favorite of the bunch is Pho Hung - food is fantastic, AND it actually has ambiance and decor.
RJG said…
Ah cool. I noticed that was #2 on Urbanspoon for Haltom City's Vietnamese restaurants. We'll check it out. Thanks for the tip!

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