Did you know Jasmine 26, the elegant loft-like dark sister to everyone’s favorite Vietnamese cheap restaurant, Jasmine Deli, serves lunch all day long? It’s true, they’ve been doing it for a few months and I think it might be the best cheap fancy meal in town. Between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., they offer a super-cheap menu of treats, like lacy patties of filligreed tempura yams for $4.50. But that’s not all! There are another dozen $4.50 options, like: A big bowl of their signature pho, vegetarian yam curry, and a deconstructed banh mi in which a bowl of chicken meatballs swim in tomato sauce topped with cilantro and scallions. For $4.50! $6.95 moves you into full entrée territory, with dishes like a silver-thread noodle salad with lime-juice-dressed chicken. $7.95 will score you a huge platter such as a broken rice plate with a grilled pork chop and a chicken patty. I had lunch there yesterday and it was spectacular—and spectacularly cheap; I shared a four-course feast with a friend and the bill came in well south of $20. This was even more impressive because the stylish room looks like the bill would be three times that. Service was friendly and fast, too; I was well impressed. So next time you need to impress someone and pick up the check, now you know where to go.
Jasmine 26 Restaurant & Bar
8 East 26th St., Mpls.