Vit Beo serves Vietnamese snacks such as congee, pho and banh xeo alongside craft beer til late.
How late exactly? Until 2 a.m. most days, 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays with the whole menu available the entire time, a rotating instant noodle dish added exclusively during the hours of 2 and 3 a.m.
The stripped down sharing style/bar snack menu is displayed prominently above the cash at the front of an open kitchen. The name “Vit Beo” translates to “chubby duck.”
Kho quet ($8) is actually named for the caramel fish sauce that drapes this small plate of crispy fried cauliflower topped with a fried egg for added richness. Puffed rice alludes to this dish’s history as a farmer’s snack of garden veggies eaten with crispy leftover rice.
Banh xeo ($8) is actually named for the sound made cooking this dish in the pan. It’s a fully constructed version of the typically DIY paper-thin rice crepe already stuffed with pork belly, prawn and herbs, sort of like a substantial, herby, crunchy spring roll served with a thin sauce for dipping.
Tom Rang Muoi ($12) is a dish of shrimp fried whole so they’re edible from crunchy head to tail. Blistered shishitos provide a soft and spicy base for this dish otherwise simply prepared with onion, fish sauce and finished off with a roasted, spiced salt.
A brown rice congee called chao ($12) is thick and comforting topped with more complex and fragile picked shittakes, pickled mustard greens, lemongrass tofu, fried shallots, herbs and inventively shaved cured egg yolk.
Pho Bo Ko ($12) is a brothless dish of dry rice noodles topped with a warmly spiced beef stew and basil, celeriac and carrot. Butter tightens up the sauce of this dish that’s normally so soupy it’s eaten with bread, and lime cuts through the fatty richness.
Batched tap cocktails are $14 across the board, served in teacups that recall Chinatown restaurants serving beer in teapots after hours.
The Vanishing Point is a Monkey Shoulder scotch “milk punch” using upcycled ingredients like fish sauce, citrus and sesame seed oil and a dehydrated citrus wedge garnish to tie this drink in with the food. There’s also a batched Rosa Canina Collins made with Hendrick’s.
A tight list of local beer includes crushable but flavourful options that go great with food: Beau’s Lugtread and Henderson’s Food Truck (both $8) as well as Woodhouse tall cans.
Owners Amy O’Grady and David Huynh got some help from Nick Kennedy (of Civil Liberties, where the latter used to bartend) transforming the former burger and wing spot into the collaged, industrial hangout it is now.