I ventured down to Portland last week and treated myself to lunch at Huong, a Vietnamese restaurant on Cumberland Avenue. My first time there, but definitely not my last. It’s a homey hole-in-the-wall, with perhaps a half-dozen tables, each topped with a tray of garlic and chile sauces. I was welcomed with hot tea and a menu.
Noodle soup is the specialty, and I ordered chicken. A huge bowl of aromatic and flavorful soup, rich with chicken and noodles, came accompanied by a plate of basic, bean sprouts, and a lime. I added a bit of this, then more of that, and before I knew it, my bowl and plate were empty, and I was full.
Next stop, Micucci’s to stock up on staples, bread (foccacia!), and wine (I’ve yet to find a better source of good, but cheap, wine).
Final stop: Homegrown Herb and Tea. Since discovering this place a couple of months ago, it’s become a must stop. This time I was fighting a migraine, and I mentioned it to Sarah, who is knowledgeable about Ayurvedic healing . She whipped up a migraine tea, and it calmed the pain considerably. It’s pricey, but I’ll be stocking up next time I’m in town. Oh, and her lavendar shortbread alone is worth the trip to this tiny tea house on the hill.
Vietnamese noodle soup and Ayurvedic migraine tea: Portland sure has changed since the days when an Amato’s Italian defined ethnic, almost exotic, eh?
UPDATE: Huong has closed. When I’m craving Pho, I now go to either Thanh Thanh 2, on outer Forest Ave., between the two corners from Hell, or Veranda Thai’ or its new noodle bar, off Washington Ave. north of 295.