100 Favorite Dishes, No. 11: Bun Bo Hue at Don Que

Plenty of iron in this bowl.
Plenty of iron in this bowl.
Catherine Downes

To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

Bun bo hue is a brash and angry angry bowl of soup. Filled with a murky, brown-colored broth that smells of funk and shrimp paste, it hides hunks of pork blood pudding, a meaty pig's knuckle with bones and connective tissue and slippery tapioca noodles that require advanced chopsticks skills.

If you're used to eating pho, the polite soup that says please and thank you, bun bo hue is a soup that shows up unannounced and downs your favorite bottle of booze before parking on your couch for a slobbery nap.

If that description sells you, my favorite version can be found at Dong Que in Garland. If you've tried the soup in other restaurants forget the poorly made, thick and oily versions whose pork parts have a gaminess that recalls the lesser smells found in a barnyard. Encountering the warm and comforting version served here is like finding your soulmate in a ladle-shaped spoon.

Hit the dark, almost muddy broth with a good squeeze of lime and watch the freshly chopped scallions come to life. Take a bite of the blood pudding and note its mild, mineral flavor. Stir in a little extra chile sauce if you'd like more heat. Suddenly pho seems ... boring.

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Dong Que Restaurant

3555 W Walnut St.
Garland, TX 75042


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