South Bay: Dong Que Restaurant

I'm not really one to make New Year's resolutions, but even I knew that I might have overdone it with the eating over the holidays.  To make sure I will be photo-ready by the time of my Iceland trip in late March, I told myself that I would be more careful of how much I ate starting January.

Yea...that didn't last very long.

Over MLK weekend, I went hiking with T and CV to break in the hiking boots we bought for Iceland.  Post-hike chow is a must, so we started talking about what we were going to have for lunch before even arriving at the trailhead parking lot.  CV told us that Dong Que has razor clams and we were immediately sold.  (We may or may not have chanted "razor clam, razor clam" at multiple points during our hike as motivation.)

After the hike, we made our way to Dong Que:


The parking lot was a strange shape, but we certainly weren't going to complain about not having to find street parking.

The interior was much larger than it looked from the outside:


The restaurant had a swanky lounge feel despite all the tables.  Probably because of the red and black color scheme.  And the faux leather chairs.  The walls were outfitted with multiple flat screen TVs playing the Falcons v. Seahawks game.  While other parties cheered for their football team, CV, T, and I focused on our food.

To go with our clams and banh beo, we were given fish sauce and salt with chilies (and limes):


Our seafood feast started with grilled bloody clams with onion ($12.95):


T rhapsodized about the earthiness of the clams, but I couldn't get over the savory oil/clam juice with green onion and peanuts.  So freakin' good.  No additional sauces necessary.

The escargot and water spinach salad ($14.95) was also fantastic:


I was rather apathetic about the chewy texture of the sliced escargot, but the tangy seasoning of the rest of the salad was to die for.

The grilled razor clams with onion ($14.95) were surprisingly my least favorite of the meal:


The texture was great, but they were a bit bland.  Sauce definitely needed.

The banh beo ($4.50) took a while to come:


The best banh beo I've ever had are from Quan Hy.  Don't get me wrong.  Dong Que's banh beo aren't bad...they're just different.  I can't really pinpoint what the difference is, but there is one.  It's been too long since I was last at Quan Hy.  This means a SoCal trip is in order.  For the sake of science of course! 

As if that weren't enough food, we added on the Thai style steamed clams with lemon leaves ($12.95)


That broth tho.  The lemongrass, the kaffir lime...perfection.  I ate a few clams and then just forgot all about them in favor of the broth.  The fun part is drinking the broth with a clam shell.  It satisfies the child in me that used to imagine surviving on a deserted island.

Apparently most of my imagination when I was a kid revolved around food.  That hasn't changed.

Anyway, everything at Dong Que was delicious.  I would go back for the steamed clam broth alone.  So many clams, so little time.

The plan after lunch was to get pearl tea, because, well, that's what you do, right?  Except T cut across a couple lanes of traffic and made an abrupt U-turn when she realized that Peter's Bakery was just down the street and she wanted to see whether it had the same cookies as Dick's Bakery, which was damaged in a fire back in May 2016.  Before I knew what was happening, I had a box with a slice of burnt almond cake in my hand.  CV had a donut.  And T had no cookies.  Poor thing.

On the way back to our car, we ducked into this little dessert shop so that CV could buy a mangonada.

Then it was off to pearl tea.

We don't mess around.


Dong Que
2852 Alum Rock Ave
San Jose, CA 95127
(408) 254-2927

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