MeKong Restaurant kitchen employees carefully prepare the Vietnamese food that comes to the table, using recipes that have been in the Bui family for generations.
“The main thing about MeKong (Restaurant), to us, is that it is food from the soul and heart,” manager Kha Bui said. “You cannot get this food at any other restaurant.”
The Mekong is a river in Vietnam, the Bui family's native country.
The family opened the first MeKong Restaurant in 1994 on Broad Street in Richmond, Va.
On July 17 — 18 years later, and about 515 miles away — the family opened a second restaurant in Sandusky.
And food is the family business.
“We know what we're doing,” Bui said.
Some of the more popular dishes on the menu are pho, a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup in beef broth, and clay pot chicken, which has a sweeter sauce. Other popular Vietnamese dishes are the savory yellow pan cake with pork and shrimp, and the spicy flat noodles with shrimp.
Vietnamese dishes tend to be healthier alternatives, offering plenty of fresh vegetables. It also has no MSGs.
Most of the items cost less than $11.95, and the lunch combo is $8.50, which gets you a soup and spring roll.
Bui said she's also proud of the beer selection.
The restaurant's employees wear shirts featuring a slogan that most folks — Americans or Vietnamese — are likely to agree with: “Beer is the Answer.”
“MeKong is for beer lovers,” Bui said.
The restaurant has about 68 beer selections from all over the world, including craft beers and micro brews. Bui's goal by late December is to offer 101 beers.
Where: 4318 Milan Road, Perkins Township, at the former Cookers location
Hours: Open seven days a week
More: A percent of the restaurant's dinner receipts Oct. 22 will go to the United Way of Erie County.