Consistently eating at restaurants close to campus is convenient, but it can get boring after your fifth run to QQs during the week. There are buses that can take you beyond the limits of State Street, but after that, where to?
If you’re looking for a change of pace with a restaurant that’s still affordable, check out Ha Long Bay. Named after an actual location in Vietnam, the Madison restaurant serves Vietnamese, Laotian and Taiwanese food.
The menu at Ha Long Bay has an extensive range of curries, soups, rice and noodles that include vegetables like bamboo, Thai eggplant, carrots and peas. Typically, the dishes come with a choice of beef, chicken or tofu, and customers can upgrade for shrimp and/or seafood.
I chose the Khao Pad Kra Prow, or the basil fried rice. The dish came with basil, egg, mushrooms, broccoli, peapods and bamboo, and I added tofu for a total of $10.95.
Though the wait time for food was a bit slow, I was readily served water and seated immediately. The restaurant had dimmed lights and colorful curtains hanging by the windows.
The food was quite good, but it lacked an abundance of vegetables. I only found a few mushrooms, and I only had a few sprigs of broccoli. But for about $11, I was completely filled by the end of the meal, and I took about half of it home for leftovers. Overall, it was about two meals worth of food.
There was little to complain about at the restaurant. It had a nice atmosphere, great service and filling food. I would’ve loved to have had more vegetables in my basil fried rice, but for $11 it offered a tasty escape from the typical options close to campus.
Those interested in dining in for an affordable night of noodles, rice and/or soup, should head over to Ha Long Bay for delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Through the Metro bus system, Bus 3 takes people from Johnson Street to the Williamson Street location of the restaurant.