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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dinner and a Movie?

Whatcha doing this weekend? How about a new dining experience right in downtown Des Plaines? Steven Giese, Adult Services Librarian, has been raving about Dung Gia, the cozy little Vietnamese spot on Northwest Highway, just east of City Hall. So Steven is today's guest blogger - and after you've read his review, read on for news on "Monday Morning Movie Mania." If you like movies and like talking about them, this is right up your alley. But first, Dung Gia. Take it away, Steven.

This November brings downtown Des Plaines diners a new restaurant, Dung Gia.

Dung Gia serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine. I love Vietnamese food and I have been waiting anxiously for Dung Gia to open ever since I first saw the small hand-lettered sign that said “Vietnamese restaurant open soon” taped to the storefront window. I missed opening day but on their second day of business I noticed they were open so I sat right down and ordered. It was worth the wait.

If you’ve never had Vietnamese food before and don’t know what to expect, I’ll try to describe it. Like many Asian cuisines, rice or noodles are served with your entrée. It’s similar to Thai food, but with distinctly different flavors and not spicy. You’ll find that Vietnamese food is also very different from dishes you may have eaten in Chinese restaurants. Instead of heavy sauces, Vietnamese dishes are served with clear, light sauces, often served on the side. You may recall that Viet Nam was occupied for many years by the French and there is a subtle French influence on the cuisine. Dishes are flavorful but balanced; only fresh ingredients are used. If you’re a coffee drinker, I encourage you try the Vietnamese style coffee: a strong, rich brew served hot or cold with a dollop of sweetened condensed milk.

Dung Gia is open for lunch and dinner; dine in or carry out. Prices are reasonable; lunch specials are $5.95 and include soup and an entrée. Located at 1436 Miner St (where Joey Tomato’s used to be), phone is 847-803-4402 or 4403.

Thanks, Steven. Great, now I'm starving...

But first, as promised, "Monday Morning Movie Mania!" Starting this coming Monday, November 12, 2007, the Des Plaines Public Library invites you to share your Monday morning movie reviews with us. Each Monday, we'll post a list of the hottest movie releases from the previous weekend. If you've seen one of the movies, write your review and post it here in PlainTalk. You can also comment on other peoples' reviews. Thumbs up, thumbs down, "the feel good movie of the season" or "It STINKS," the reviews are up to you. Consider this a beta test right now. If we get enough reviews every Monday morning, we'll go into full blast and offer prizes throughout the year and will also compile the best reviews into a database you can use when you check out movies from the library. So, hit the cineplex this weekend and on Monday, channel your inner Ebert here on PlainTalk. "Monday Morning Movie Mania" - new at the Des Plaines Public Library on Monday, November 12.

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