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VK Viet Kitchen

Comfort food -- Vietnamese style!

The meatball beef noodle soup will cure your PNW winter blues. Photo credit: Dutch Randall

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ANNOUNCER: Dutch and Jackie are well acquainted with the quality and authentic food fare that hails from Tacoma's Lincoln District. VK Viet Kitchen is a somewhat new addition, and the two wanted to see what it was all about.

DUTCH: This is a nice little hidden spot in the middle of several Asian businesses on South 38th St. located just a few steps from historic Lincoln High School. The space is clean, bright and open with plenty of tables available during peak hours. The staff here is also incredibly friendly and made me feel right at home from the moment I arrived.

JACKIE: Incredibly nice, indeed. I was greeted swiftly and treated warmly throughout my visit. The space itself can be a little chilly during the colder months, but don't dwell on that, the dishes will warm you right up. Am I right, Dutch?

DUTCH: During the cold winter months, I find myself gravitating toward any soups that are offered on a menu, and this week was no exception. Fortunately, Vietnamese cuisine has plenty of offerings. The meatball beef noodle soup starts with a flavorful beef broth that contains bite-sized portions of seasoned meatballs, glass noodles, cilantro, scallions and onions. Additionally, a plate with Thai basil, fresh jalapeno slices, and crisp bean sprouts is provided for you to fill your bowl with even more texture and flavors. And as if that wasn't enough, I added a little chili sauce to the mix.

JACKIE: I lingered on the Goat Hot Pot but opted for soup myself with their Oxtail Noodle Soup. Much of the same components threaded throughout the two. Copious amounts of cilantro and scallions floated about the fragrant broth teeming with a generous amount of glass noodles and oxtail on the bone, though the meat stuff clung to the bone making it difficult to enjoy fully, the bowl cured anything that ailed me, from my slight sniffle to a case of the PNW blues. The textures and execution was spot on. It's dreamy.

DUTCH: It is clear that an effort is made to ensure the dishes here are authentic for those familiar with Vietnamese dishes. Several items demonstrate this commitment, such as the grilled squid which is grilled whole, seasoned, and sliced into bite-sized pieces. A favorite of mine is the Vietnamese iced coffee which comes dark on the bottom with heavy sweet cream on top. I always give it a quick stir for more of a marbled concoction that gives a great balance of the bitter, sweet, and creamy flavors.

JACKIE: On my next visit I plan to explore more of the menu. There's a clear attention to detail and flavor. Next time, me, you and that hot pot, what do ya say?

VK VIET KITCHEN, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 758 S 38th St., Tacoma, 253.474.3992,

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