Viet Bread and Tea is Open!

Viet Bread and Tea, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2019

It was the message I’d been waiting for . . . though judging from the messages I’ve gotten asking “when, when?” I’m not the only one who’s been anxious for the opening of Viet Bread and Tea. “We are open today! (For a soft opening ).” There was more, but I’d read the only sentence in the email that mattered. Plans were made.

As fate would have it, Urban Boy joined Urban Woman and myself for the evening and so, boy got his first Vietnamese food. He dug the sticky rice and chicken on the Com Thit Ga Nuong (Grilled Chicken Rice Plate, $10.95). The photo you see here has been re-arranged a bit because he carefully articulated in his little three-year-old voice that Urban Boy does not do “cucumbers or carrots.” Urban Woman snagged the carrots and said they were delicious.

Viet Bread and Tea, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2019

Viet Bread and Tea, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2019

Viet Bread and Tea, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2019

I had the best Pho of my life. I ordered the Pho Ga (Chicken Noodle Soup, $9.95). Alright, I’ll admit it . . . it was the first Pho of my life! I know, I’m not as hip as you thought I was. I started to order the large ($11.95), but the staff sort of gasped and encouraged me to consider the regular.

Viet Bread and Tea, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2019

It’s a good thing, because I didn’t make it all the way to the bottom of the bowl like I’d wanted. Noodles, chicken, broth were all excellent. Urban Boy was afraid I would spill it when I picked up the bowl to get more of that crazy good broth, but all was well.

Urban Woman got the Cha Gio (Crispy Egg Rolls, $8.99 for five) and loved them as much this time around as when Rosie sent some samples home with me a few weeks ago. I said in the previous article they were the best egg rolls I’d ever had and I’d repeat that after the second round (I stole one from her.) So light, crispy and scarcely a hint of grease.

Viet Bread and Tea, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2019

Viet Bread and Tea, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2019

While Urban Boy and I were boring with our water, Urban Woman went for the Almond Milk Tea which she said was excellent. Of course, teas are a big thing in the new restaurant with a wide range of styles, flavors and toppings to make your bubble tea, if you like.

After tax, we ended up close to $40 for three people for dinner and could have gone less expensive, if we’d tried. For the kind of scratch cooking Rosie is doing, it’s a great value – particularly by downtown standards. A couple could keep it close to $20 with a little effort.

Viet Bread and Tea, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2019

Viet Bread and Tea, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2019

Viet Bread and Tea, 522 South Gay Street, Knoxville, March 2019

The decor is simple and fun, with Asian hats along one wall and hanging from the ceilings along with some woven basket lighting fixtures. A water feature at the front gives a soothing touch. There is one television which was turned to silent and is only visible from a few tables. It was more of a distraction for the staff than for the customers who mostly couldn’t see it.

We’re accumulating a minor collection of Asian eateries in the downtown area. They are each doing something a bit different from each other and they’ll need your support if they are to remain open. Support them if you like the variety. Support Rosie and the excellent food at Viet Tea and Bread. There are no posted hours, so I can only assume they are close to what she’d told me previously: 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM every day except Sunday when they will be closed.

Comments

  1. Betty Clemens says

    Vietnamese food won my taste buds back in New Orleans many years ago. Today the Vietnamese are outdoing the locals by baking the best King Cakes of the area. A great addition to downtown Knoxville. I wish them the best.

  2. Betty Bean says

    Oh, Yum! Been waiting for this. Thanks for sharing; it looks wonderful.

    Have they signed up with Bite Squad? I’ve gown to love ordering in on nights when I’m working.

  3. I drove by last night and saw that they were open – I planned to stop in after my work event but it ran too late. As I was on my way home, I thought to myself, “I bet Alan is going to write about them tomorrow and then I’ll NEVER get a table!” Thanks a lot, Alan! 😉

  4. I’m SOOOOO excited about this place! Menu looks simple with a focus on the food… which is very smart, prices are good and I can’t wait to try the best Pho of your life!

  5. Just walked down there (1:15 on Tuesday). Not open. I haz a sad.

  6. I just left from there and was disappointed to find that they were closed because they ran out of receipt paper, so I could not place an order.

  7. They’re open again.

  8. Went by yesterday – was greeted with “sorry sir, we aren’t accepting new customers.”

    Went by today – was able to order! 30 minutes later, they sent me on my way with my food, except they didn’t include 2 of the 3 things I ordered. (I had two bahn mis and a pho, received a soup and to-go box, which I found out too late only had noodles for the pho)

    Super bummed, hopefully they’ll get it together, doesn’t seem like they’re ready for the amount of business they’re bringing in.

  9. I would definitely give them some time to perfect being open. I went in today, and while the food is delicious, it was a bit of unorganized chaos. Some folks were quite upset about their wait time.

  10. Attempt #4: Went at 11; sign on the door saying “Open at 11:30 today.” Ran a couple errands, came back at 11:20, ten people in line outside. Waited another fifteen minutes, went & got a crepe from the French Market instead.
    Bless their hearts.

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