After a lazy afternoon at the McGolrick Farmers Market, I was considering heading to Little Dokebi and ordering bibimbap, but I decided to see what was around.
Yelp prodded me with its four and a half stars for Vietnamese café Nha Minh, promising “flavorful (and abundant) rice bowls, crisp tasty sandwiches, early breakfast, beer/wine.” Yelp promised both “rotating art shows” and “rotating vegetables.” I’ll never say you never did anything good for me, Yelp.
Rotating vegetables and rotating art? I hopped on my bike and wandered over. I chained my bike up on a barren stretch of Morgan Avenue and hoped it would be okay.
Like Bushwick of days past, this café provides all the warmth inside that the outside industrial zone lacks. It may be in that strange zone between the G and the L, but this café is worth the trip. It’s an artfully-done space accented by unique fixtures and comic art everywhere.
One of the first things I noticed was this crazy adorable sign. This peanut really doesn’t want you to get sick (or maybe it just doesn’t want to be eaten).
The café is owned by Fred Hua, a chef who used to own Nha Toi in Williamsburg. Fred has a really sweet, laidback vibe. I noticed him and his employees joking around and having fun (but they still got our food to us quickly). In the food business, I feel like that kind of atmosphere is rare.
Fred has put together two wonderful things — comic arts and Vietnamese food. With big bowls of veggies, eggs and grains, hearty sandwiches and pho specials, plus a big collection of comic books and graphic novels to just sit around reading and art exhibits papering the walls, this is the perfect lazy afternoon.
If you’re a sauce addict, Fred’s got you covered with addictive supplies of sambal oelek hot sauce, coffee hoisin, cilantro thai basil, super spicy turmeric, fermented black bean, and soy sauce apple cider. Then you have to consider the different possible flavor combinations resulting from combining those for your bowl, or to apply to different parts of your sandwich.
Nha Minh also has groceries for sale that you wouldn’t necessarily easily find in this part of Brooklyn.
One hour and two graphic novels later, my belly was full of seasonally delicious veggies and a perfectly-fried egg, and my bike was still there. I can’t wait to get back to Nha Minh, even for takeout. These damn Yelp photos are making me hungry.