On Sunday, March 7th 16 members of the new LHENA Restaurant Fan Club got together online to enjoy food from our first Spotlight restaurant: Kinhdo. There were lots of laughs as members shared travel stories. We wrapped up the evening learning more about this gem of a local restaurant.
Kinhdo is currently run by Dathao Phan and her husband. Dathao is a second-generation owner of the restaurant she grew up in. Her parents opened Kinhdo, on the corner of 28th and Hennepin, in the summer of 1986 more than 35 years ago. “My mother grew up poor in Vietnam and didn’t get the opportunity to experience all the different styles of cooking that the region is known for,” Dathao shared. “When she and my father came to the U.S. they worked in various restaurants and my mother used this as an opportunity to develop the menu we have today.” Over the years the menu has evolved to include more Thai and Asian dishes. The most popular dishes are their hot/spicy chicken, Pad Thai and egg rolls.
What makes their Vietnamese egg rolls so tasty? According to Dathao it is the thin rice paper which gives it the wonderful crispy crunch and the flavorful meat stuffing. Chinese egg rolls have more cabbage in them and use a heavier wrapper. And what does “Kinhdo” mean? “My mother told me that Kinhdo translates to ‘the special building of the capital city.’ In many ways this is like our U.S. White House,” shared Dathao. “She wanted everyone to come and feel special in this place.”
Dathao’s parents retired in 2015 and this year during the pandemic Dathao and her husband are the sole employees. “It’s been a really tough year,” confessed Dathao. “I don’t think we could have made it so far if it wasn’t for this neighborhood. With just the two of us it is very challenging to keep up with the cooking and managing the take-out orders. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding. Being your Spotlight restaurant means so much to us. Thank you.”
Kinhdo is open Wednesday – Friday from 4-7PM and on the weekends from Noon – 6PM. Take-out and delivery are available on their website – as well as gift cards. kinhdorestaurant.com 612-870-1295