Angkor Bistro, Cambodian & Thai Food In Johnson City, TN


by Danielle Bussone


Angkor Bistro has not only recently supplanted Jade’s Market and Eatery as Johnson City’s premier Thai restaurant but has also added Cambodian Cuisine to the original fare. The Thai food we’ve come to enjoy at Jade’s Market is still a major part of the menu and has not changed since new owner, Phally (pronounced Pauly) Mein, purchased the restaurant. Her brother, Phalla (Paul) Nop is her manager. Together they have put together a flavorful menu unique to the Johnson City area.


Angkor Bistro


Maria is their full-service employee who stayed with the restaurant when it changed hands. Her engaging smile is usually the first thing you will notice when you walk into the Angkor Bistro. She is always pleasant, knowledgable and eager to make your experience an enjoyable one.

Angkor Bistro is named after a famous Cambodian temple, Angkor Wat. Most of the dishes offered can be made vegan by substituting tofu as the principle protein or by adding more vegetables instead. The ambiance is quite casual, with cafeteria-style seating.


Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat


Here we were introduced to our first experience with Cambodian cuisine. Nestled on the southern border of Thailand, Cambodia shares a lot of the ingredients of Thai cooking. The flavors, however,  are entirely unique and the cooking method is different from Thai cuisine. We will experience this first hand when Angkor’s chef prepares a meal for us on video this week to share with our readers. (more…)

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Ming’s Asian Cuisine, Johnson City, TN

by Danielle Bussone

Correction!  Originally I posted that this is the only Chinese restaurant we’ve discovered to date which uses organic ingredients, no genetically modified ingredients and no MSG in the preparation of their food. However, I visited Ming’s again this week and discovered that some of their commercial soy sauces, which are available on individual dining tables, are not organic and are likely to contain sodium benzoate and GMO soy. After speaking with a member of the restaurant staff, I learned that this same soy sauce is used in the preparation of the food. Unless this is changed, we can no longer tout this as a non-GMO restaurant. Sorry, readers. We work on the honor system and unless we discover something to the contrary, we have to trust our restauranteurs to give us the facts. We do believe in this case it was an honest mistake of the ownership, which is the only reason Ming’s is remaining on Veggin’ Out and About’s list of recommended restaurants. We take these claims very seriously. While Ming’s is not entirely GMO-free, it still stands above its competitors in freshness and no MSG.

Ming’s Asian Cuisine had been opened five days when Rich and I happened by. It is located off of State of Franklin on Hamilton Place.We thought it must be a new chain restaurant but we were certainly mistaken about that. Ming is the owner.  Ming’s Asian Cuisine prides itself on using seasonal fresh vegetables from local sources. They use no canola oil, which is a highly genetically modified product. Instead, they use sesame oil and olive oil. (more…)

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Jade’s Market Has Changed Hands!



Jade’s Market (see post under Thai Cuisine) has changed owners. For now the menu will continue to be Thai and will carry the identical menu items as when owned by Tara. In time, the name will be changed to Angkor Food and will serve Cambodian and Thai Cuisine with a significant vegan and vegetarian menu as well as their non-vegetarian fare.

The new owner is Phally (pronounced Pauly) Mein and her brother, Phalla (Paul) Nop is her manager. This lovely Cambodian team promises to bring something new and exciting to the experience of Johnson City diners. They also have agreed to allow us to video them preparing one of their Cambodian dishes as soon as their new menu is solidified.

Angkor Food will no longer carry market items for sale like sushi or summer roll wrappers or any of the Asian items Jade’s had for sale. It will be strictly a restaurant. Sorry folks. You can still find your Asian supplies at The Stock Pot in Johnson City near Sam’s Club.

We wish all the best to Tara, former owner of Jade’s Market. Her twins are keeping her busy. She and her husband still own and operate Lola’s in Johnson City.

Stay tuned!

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Phoenix Garden Vegetarian Restaurant, Richmond, VA

by Danielle Bussone

We discovered a real treasure in Richmond, Virginia. Phoenix Garden Vegetarian Restaurant offers Vietnamese cuisine and is the only completely vegan and completely organic restaurant in the city. The food was as gorgeous to look at as it was delicious. We were traveling late at night en-route to Washington, D.C. and only had time to review one restaurant during this mad dash through Richmond. We used a particularly ingenious and sophisticated method to determine which restaurant we would review. One of our monsters is a beautiful dog named Phoenix so we decided to grace Phoenix Garden Vegetarian Restaurant with our first review of the area’s cuisine. As it turns out, it was meant to be!

Phoenix is chef and co-owner with her husband, Vi Trinh. Phoenix became a vegan three years ago. She wanted to experience the foods she enjoyed as a child in Vietnam so she began preparing vegan Vietnamese food. They opened their Phoenix Garden Vegetarian Restaurant a year ago. The food is so flavorful it is no wonder it attracts visitors from as far away as Boston and Miami. It is a perfect stop when traveling I-95, accessible easily from the interstate. (more…)

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Issei Noodle, Carlisle, PA

by Danielle Bussone

Issei Noodle restaurant is a unique merging of cultures, authentic Japanese udon and ramen noodles side by side with Vietnamese Pho.  The restaurant comes by it honestly as owners Robert Pham, is Vietnamese and his spouse and partner, Naomi Pham, is Japanese.  Their two daughters, Chané and Tash create a perfect fusion of the two. This is a first generation family owned business.

Rich and I ate at Issei Noodle about a year ago when passing through Carlisle, Pennsylvania and have not forgotten the experience. It was reminiscent of our years in Japan where we often took a train to Tokyo just to slurp down a hot bowl of ramen noodles or udon with fresh vegetables.  Imagine our delight to find an authentic Asian noodle restaurant right in the heart of Carlisle! This year as we made our annual trip to Central NY to visit family we made it a point to revisit Carlisle and to visit Issei Noodle.  It did not disappoint. We even witnessed a young Asian man holding his bowl to his mouth and drinking the broth directly from the bowl in true Japanese fashion and other Asian customers sucking down noodles from heavily laden chopsticks making slurping noises which would have made our parents grimace. It was truly an authentically Asian experience though the restaurant was filled to capacity with western diners as well. Not all dishes are vegan, there are plenty of options for your carnivorous friends as well. (more…)

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Vegan Meetup in Asheville, NC

For the vegan and veg-curious, there is no better way to sample a variety of great vegan dishes than by joining a local meet-up group.  The best way to find one in your area is to simply google vegan meetups (your city).  For example, vegan meetup Butler, TN.  This brought up meetup groups in Boone, NC, Asheville, NC and Johnson City, TN, all of which we have become members.  Participation in these potluck events are usually free or very inexpensive, depending on whether the group has to pay a fee for a venue in which to meet.  I’ve never seen one charge more than $3. You are expected to bring a pot-luck dish which has no animal products in it whatsoever and will feed eight people.  Usually, you also bring your recipe as well as your own place setting.  This is a great way to experience vegan cuisine, gather new recipes of the dishes you enjoyed and become a part of a supportive group of like minded people.  Occasionally, a group will get together to sample the vegan cuisines offered by local restaurants.

Yesterday, we were able to visit for the first time (due to the long drive) The Asheville Vegan Society’s luncheon at Suwana’s Thai Orchid.  Suwana’s was one of the first restaurants we reviewed when we began our journey with Veggin’ Out & About. We learned yesterday she is in the process in opening up an Asian Noodle shop very near Suwana’s Thai Orchid.  We are excited about reviewing this new find in the coming weeks.

The Asheville Vegan Society is a robust, laid-back group of vegans of all ages. We had such a great time and were welcomed like old friends. The food at Suwana’s was even better than we remembered.  It was all so delicious and the service was fantastic. Thank you, Joe W. VeganMan for organizing this great event and this dynamic group!! And thank you, Suwana and her amazing staff for pulling it off so seamlessly!!

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