The Drive-By: Curbside Takeout from Union Hmong Kitchen

The first of many quickie impressions of Minnesota curbside takeout restaurants
Union Hmong Kitchen in Northeast Minneapolis

The Drive-By is Jason DeRusha’s bite-sized (get it?) reviews of curbside takeout meals from restaurants around the Twin Cities, and beyond.

Union Hmong Kitchen is having its moment—hopefully one of many moments actually. Owner Yia Vang had his food on the cover of Bon Appetit magazine, and this giant, amazing profile. And while I’ve tried his food before, I’ve never had a meal from his truck parked outside of Sociable Cider Werks.

The Restaurant: Union Hmong Kitchen

The Order: We got the family meal for two which featured Hilltribe fried chicken (my editor’s fave!) or BBQ pork, purple sticky rice, roasted root veggies, pickles and Tiger Bite sauce. We chose the pork. ($32) and we added the Khao Sen vermicelli salad with turmeric, cabbage, herbs and honey ($10) and a whole smoked cauliflower ($12) marinated with coconut milk and turmeric.

The Verdict: The hype is legit and earned. The pork had zip and funk and heart and soul, the purple rice was perfection, and the meal traveled from Northeast Minneapolis to my Maple Grove home without difficulty. The Khao Sen cold salad was enough for all four of us to have a healthy portion, and the smoke on the cauliflower was balanced so nicely with the sweetness of the coconut milk.

Union Hmong Kitchen’s Khao Sen
Whole roasted cauliflower from Union Hmong Kitchen
A sampling of dishes from Union Hmong Kitchen

Hours: Monday – Friday 4 p.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday/Sunday 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

Location: 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis, in the lot behind Sociable Cider Werks