If a patron of Me Con Bistro were to peer behind its kitchen doors, owner Will Huynh said he or she would often find his mother, En Hang, laboring over a pot of Vietnamese pho.
“Knowing that she is a fantastic cook, we wanted to showcase her Vietnamese food,” Huynh said. “She is making sure everything that comes out [of the kitchen] is the way she would prepare it.”
In her native Vietnam, Hang sold her food as a street vendor, but after immigrating to Texas in 1982 and working in an Asian restaurant, Huynh said she swore her restaurant days were behind her. After 15 years of careful persuasion, in March 2016 Huynh and his brother Ethan were able to convince their mom to join them in opening a family-run Vietnamese restaurant on William Cannon Drive.
“She’s been here [cooking] every day since we opened,” he said. “This keeps her young.”
The menu at Me Con Bistro features all the dishes one would expect to find at a pan-Asian restaurant, such as spring rolls, pho and vermicelli. Before venturing into the more obscure Vietnamese dishes, Huynh said the family wanted to establish the restaurant’s footing by appealing to the mainstream.
“We are still waiting to get a feel of the market and see what Vietnamese food our customers will embrace,”
But Huynh said the goal has always been to offer Vietnamese street food, and plans are underway to roll out menu items such as Saigon crepes and vegan options.
“We are technically a pan-Asian restaurant, but our focus is Vietnamese and we are transitioning more toward that,” he said. “That is what we do well.”
Until then, Huynh said the family is focusing on growing the business organically through producing authentic, homemade food.
“Working in a new business with your family, you have your ups and downs,” Huynh said. “Overall it’s been a great, interesting experience.”
Me Con Bistro
3421 W. William Cannon Drive, Austin
Hours: Sun.-Mon. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.