Global Eats

It Takes a Village to Keep a Village

This past spring, it took a community to save the venerable and lavish Mai Village Vietnamese restaurant from foreclosure.

vietnamese food at Mai Village

MAI VILLAGE: BÒ 7 MÓN

This past spring, it took a community to save the venerable and lavish Mai Village Vietnamese restaurant from foreclosure. Now unburdened of its mountain of debt and eagerly anticipating the commencement of light rail just outside its doors, this popular Little Mekong dining spot is very much open for business. And the menu’s star attraction remains the seven-course Bò 7 Món beef dinner. A bargain at $18.95 per person, this classic feast incorporates literally everything from soup to nuts. Highlights include two cook-it-yourself dishes. One is a Southeast Asian fondue centered on a generous portion of sliced tenderloin and onions, which get immersed in a roiling hot pot of vinegary broth spiked with black pepper and lemongrass. The other features strips of marinated beef and raw onion, which diners grill on a butter-primed Mongolian BBQ pan. Other courses comprise a light and refreshing beef salad, a couple of ground meat options, grape leaf–wrapped cylinders of grilled beef, and a light and refreshing meal-end beef soup. Accompaniments include lettuce leaves and rice paper sheets for wrapping, condiments—mint, cucumber, carrot, and pineapple—for layering, and a variety of sauces for dipping. This very satisfying meal is unquestionably Mai Village’s signature draw. 394 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-290-2585, maivillage.net
 

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