Tried the restaurant on SE Ankeny. Chicken and sauce is delicious, also a great price for quality food!
140 - 144 of 182 reviews
Everyone seems to be raving about this place. You can't visit Portland without every magazine and guide touting it is the best thing in town. I was excited to try it and find out what all of the fuss was about.
Inevitably, after that much hype, it was bound to fall flat though. I can understand the allure and satisfaction of perfectly cooked chicken and rice, but this wasn't that. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't anything special. The chicken was fairly bland, and the white meat was not as juicy and tender as I would have hoped. The rice itself was also bland. It has nothing on a properly cooked rice pilaf. The special sauce at least added some nice flavor, but it shouldn't be solely about the condiment.
In all, I had some fantastic meals while visiting Portland, and there was so much there I still wanted to try. I was kind of disappointed I wasted a meal on this however, and really don't understand what all of the hype is about.
This place has no atmosphere and minimal variety, but what they have is delicious! Chicken and rice, veges and rice, tofu with veges and rice. Choice of two different sauces. If you're OK with this, the chicken is good quality and well prepared, the veges are fresh, and the prices very reasonable. Service is prompt and polite. If I lived in Portland, I would definitely go back.
We were with a group of friends so all of us ordered different foods from the food cart pod in this location. In addition to the chicken and rice dish from this food cart, we bought from a Polish cart, Chinese, and another Thai. The chicken and rice from Nong's was delicious and the sauce was excellent. But we really LOVED the Polish food so if we go back, will be trying other dishes from that one. The line was long for Nong's, it was #4 on the Yelp restaurant list, and was also mentioned by a tour guide. So maybe our expectations were a little too high. Rating it a Very Good but would not say it was particularly Excellent.
After reading that Nong's Khao Man Gai was the best food cart dish in Portland, I had to try it. For those who don't know, Khao Man Gai is Thai chicken and rice, a version of a dish that is also popular in Singapore and Malaysia (according to Wikipedia). The dish is served with a broth in a small plastic container with rice, meat and cucumbers wrapped in a large piece of paper. There is also a dark sauce that is served with the meal, supposedly it is a soybean sauce with garlic, chili and other ingredients. The sauce is very good, not spicy, but full of flavor. The chicken is tender white meat, but it is not flavorful. The sauce is perfect for adding flavor to the chicken. The rice is not dry, but doesn't reach stickiness either. It is moist and cooked the perfect amount. The broth is not exceptional. The broth that is served with the beef noodle soup at the Noodle House (on Washington, closer to 9th) is better. Also, how you eat the dish is not readily apparent. I settled for scooping pieces of rice and chicken into the broth and then forking them out and eating them. I found that putting the sauce on the chicken before I dipped it in the broth made it a better meal. Probably, I would have enjoyed it more if I had a big bowl in which to dump all of my ingredients together. While this meal was basically very solid, it did not stand out in my mind. Also, there was a bit of a line when I went, so the wait was long. It seemed to be mainly tourists.