Family Owned Since 1980
In 1980, my grandpa saw a restaurant for sale as he biked to work.
He came home to tell my mother, My Le. She immediately loved the idea and took the leap of faith that started our family's imprint in northeast Minneapolis. We were the second Vietnamese restaurant to open in MN, and we are the longest running restaurant to date. When we first opened, customers would dine right on the counter of the cash register. Worried that we would not survive if customers did not accept our Vietnamese menu, my mother decided to keep the old restaurant’s menu, offering hamburgers and breakfast. To this day, we still have customers coming in and telling us that as children they would order a hamburger while dining, until they finally tried an egg roll. My mother was truly a master of adaption from the very beginning. In a few months, lines formed around the block for our new little Vietnamese menu. Eventually, we expanded into the entire building, all thanks to everyone’s love and support from the very beginning. We have a family that has dined with us every Monday since 1980. We have children that celebrate their groom’s dinner with us because their parents' first date was here. We have brought highchairs out for couples that used to sit in those same high chairs as children. We have loved hearing all the stories shared with us throughout the years and pray that we will continue to be a part of your family as you have been a part of ours.
My earliest memory in our kitchen was standing on a blue plastic milk crate, barely reaching the sink, washing the dishes. In those days, bringing your child to work meant your child would work. I studied my mom, mentally taking notes on how she created her recipes without ever officially measuring anything, claiming it was the "Vietnamese way of cooking." In her 20s and only 90lbs, her dedication amazed me as she worked non-stop, 7 days a week. Controlling the kitchen came naturally to her and I think somehow as the years passed—through osmosis—it transferred to me. Since I started running the restaurant in 1996, I often get asked what has kept us open all these years. In my head, I think of answers like dedication and hard work, but my reply has always been…EGG ROLLS—the foundation of our restaurant. We have used the same recipe for over 40 years, never skipping any steps, maintaining the integrity of our famous dish. To this day, I still peel carrots and cut onions by hand in addition to grinding our pork in house to prepare each batch. However, I finally have a measured recipe for the seasoning (don’t tell my mom).
As I watch my children help me and my wife in the kitchen at Que Viet, I secretly wonder which one of them will follow in my mom and my footsteps. I take pride as we grow from a small family restaurant, to our famous egg rolls being an item at Que Viet Concessions, one of the top vendors at the Minnesota The State Fair. It has to be from our dedication and hard work. (Just kidding, it is mostly from the egg rolls.) Really, the egg roll is the epitome of dedication and hard work. I promise never to change that recipe at Que Viet or any of our future ventures.
Thank you for your continued love and support,
For the past 23 years, my wife, Lauren, and I along with our team have strived to maintain the legacy of our restaurant. Over the years, we found the secret to our success has been balance and adaptation. Balancing our décor to feel new and fresh, yet still holding on to our original roots. Adapting to the changing food trends by added new menu options, a difficult task when the “old” menu has survived the test of time—A task that included demolishing our existing kitchen and rearranging our whole restaurant in order to make room for our new menu. But, with every new addition we strive to keep focus; enticing new customers, but always staying true with original recipes, keeping our existing customers happy.
As we move forward during the most trying times in our history, we continue to strive to find innovative ways to bring a Vietnamese meal from our family to yours.
Dat and wife Lauren
in the Que Viet kitchen.