After a few months of setup in the former pharmacy location at 1723 NW Market, Monkey Bridge Vietnamese Cuisine opened today. It will probably be another couple of days before they're serving beer and wine since liquor license applications have been backed up. It sounds like a lot of permits have been slow going for new restaurants and bars lately. This family run business had hoped to open in January but just got through some of the final hurdles.
We stopped in for a quick bite today and would have lingered longer if the wine had been available. The decor and the staff were both welcoming and the couple of dishes we tried were very flavorful. What can you expect to find? If you're looking for Phở, they offer several options (including vegetarian) in a more comfortable atmosphere than other neighborhood spots. They also offer Bánh mì sandwiches, several salads and a range of noodle and rice based dishes like Ginger Chicken, Lemongrass Tofu, and Vietnamese Rhubarb and Beef.
Their dinner special entrees featured salmon and sea bass and looked like they'd be worth a splurge (in the $15 range) on a night when I'm hungrier. Most of the other menu options cost between four and eight dollars.
Besides the atmosphere and great prices, I was impressed by the descriptions on the menu, particularly the fact that all the soups actually specified what type of broth they contained. This is rare and really helpful for picky eaters like myself who avoid the chicken and beef ones.