Tucked in behind the McDonald’s on Calgary Trail and 51 ave you’ll find the Lemongrass Cafe, purveyor of fine Vietnamese cuisine.
The place was jammin on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in Edmonton. What seemed liked hundreds of people were enjoying this Southside gem. Despite the traffic, the staff was gracious and helpful in assembling our enormous take-out order.
Lemongrass really came through. The green onion cakes were delicious. Despite having been consumed after spending close to 20 minutes in non-breathable, styrofoam containers, they were light and flaky. Neither undercooked nor overcooked (a frequent complaint of the author), their subtle green onion flavour was evenly distributed. They were served with a well balanced sweet chili sauce that was neither too sweet nor too spicy.
With minimal prodding, the staff divulged that they do not, in fact, make their EGOCs in house. They purchase them frozen from one of two major distributors in the area: J&D Food Services. Restaurants generally try and avoid telling me that they don’t make their green onion cakes in-house, so I credit the busy lunch hour schedule with the candour.
A few caveats: Lunch green onion cakes are never as good as their dinner equivalents; and take-out green onion cakes pale in comparison to dine-in.
The rest of the take-out order was also great. Vermicelli bowls, stir-fry dishes and spring rolls were enjoyed by all.
I wouldn’t send you out of your way, but if you find yourself in the area, skip Mc D’s and head on over to Lemongrass. You’ll be glad you did.
4 out of 5 stars