Da Nang is a food cart that serves “Vietnamese street food,” which is how Tony Ngo, one of the owners, describes it. The other owner, James Ngo (no relation) has known Tony forever. It was about 3 years ago when Tony and James started getting serious about opening a food cart. Tony grew up cooking Vietnamese food with his mom and knew that this was what he wanted to serve. “Vietnamese is a gold mine for unexplored foods,” said Tony.
Before they decided to go through with it, they talked to other food cart owners for advice. “They said ‘be prepared to bust your ass,’” said Tony, “but it’s like with anything new, it’s going to be hard at first.” Both Tony and James have no formal training when it comes to cooking, but they decided to go for it.
Tony has lived in Eugene since he was 14 and wanted to start up Da Nang in Eugene. “My roots are dug so deep here, it just made sense to open a business,” said Tony. As for the name, both Tony and James’ families grew up in the town called Da Nang in Vietnam and they wanted to pay respect to them by naming it after them.
The cart itself was built from the ground up. “It was a labor of love,” jokes Tony, “this is our baby.” They had a soft opening 2 weeks ago for family and friends. Then, one week later they had a their grand opening to the public where they sold out. Tony said that the hardest part is planning for every day. Future goals include opening up a restaurant in 2-3 years. “We like to aim for the stars,” said Tony.
Their menu is kind of like a choose-your-own adventure book. First you choose your meat: chicken, tofu or steak. Then you choose what you want it to go on: salad, banh mi (like a sandwich), noodles or rice. They serve it with a refreshing salad. The meal is filling and more than enough. Meals come with hot sauce, which is very spicy though it does bring a lot more flavor to the food. I suggest getting the hot sauce on the side and slowly adding for flavor. It’s definitely a place to check out if you are in the mood for something different and unique.
Location: 488 Lincoln St. and 520 Commercial St. (Website for locations)
Hours of operation: Vary, (Website for hours)