Located in a shopping center at the intersection of Payton Gin and Ohlen roads, Tan My has built a loyal following in its 19-year history, David Tran said.
Family-owned and -operated, David said his father, Hue, the owner of Tan My, picked the location specifically because a there were a few Vietnamese shops nearby.
“At the time Austin didn’t have a lot of Vietnamese options,” David said.
Since then, David said, the restaurant has developed a solid reputation for its authentic dishes.
Bun Bo Hue ($8.30), a spicy beef noodle soup, is a customer favorite, and many Vietnamese customers appreciate dry egg noodles as an option in the Mi Xa Xiu and Mi Thap Cam (both $6.80 for a small and $7.80 for a large portion), David said.
He said the pho ($6.80 for a small and $7.80 for a large bowl) is more aromatic than most.
“If you eat it here and you eat it other places, there’s definitely a different flavor profile,” he said.
But it is not only the quality and authenticity of the food that keeps customers coming back year after year, he added.
“People like coming here because both my parents try to make everybody feel at home,” he said.
Hue—who has been in the restaurant business for 30 years—and his wife, Vinh, often circle the dining room, refilling water and greeting customers. David and his sister, Amy, help seat customers and settle checks.
The no-frills dining area, with white walls and just a few framed pictures, including a print of historic Saigon, is intentional, David said.
The Trans want customers to feel relaxed and comfortable, whether they visit for a business lunch or to grab dinner at the end of a busy day, he said.
The restaurant has no shortage of longtime customers, David said. One man began eating at Tan My when he was in high school, took his future wife to the restaurant when they were dating and now brings his daughter in for meals.
One Vietnamese family gathers for dinner at Tan My three times a week, David said.
“The dining experience is like eating at home or going to relatives’ house for dinner and having them spoil you,” he said. “Seeing new faces become familiar faces … that’s a really big compliment to us.”