I've tweeted about it, but 140 characters doesn't quite allow one to do it justice. Ngon Bistro, on University and Avon in the heart of Frogtown, is a mere four blocks from my house, and I couldn't ask for a better restaurant/beer bar so close to home.
They offer standard--well actually above standard--Vietnamese fare. Their pho soup and bun salads are top notch, and they also offer higher end entrees ($16 - $20) that are fantastic. But my favorite menu items are the small plates, offered for $5 during happy hour: a walleye sandwich with amazing sweet potato fries, chicken skewers in lemongrass sauce, elk noodle salad, pork belly with wasabi pureed Brussel sprouts and potatoes, chicken pate on baguette and ginger beet salad. Plus, being the cheap-ass that I am, I appreciate that all their beers are $1 off and Minnesota wines are $2 off.
Oh, and the beers. Only Minnesota beers, with seasonal and cask offerings. Owner Hai Truong is a true beer advocate and has his own firkins, which local breweries fill with special offerings. They just finished a cask of Surly oak-aged Cynic, and up next is some lovely Summit Winter. Surly Smoke is still on tap from New Year's Eve, when they also finished a keg of Surly Darkness.
My only complaint is the hours. On weeknights they close at 9pm, and at 10pm on the weekend. Of course, there are only one maybe two tables with customers when I've been there at closing, so it's probably just me being selfish. But still, I'd like to think that they could sustain being open an hour longer.
So next time you're in the mood for a fantastic Vietnamese meal with a finely-crafted Minnesota beer, head over to Ngon Vietnamese Bistro in St. Paul.