Reviews (6)

First Review by Plain-Simple-Truth

Much better than people have said - Edit

My experience at this restaurant was very different from that of the other reviewers. I went with a large party of 10 people. Some of us were vegan, others gluten-free or vegetarian. While the menu wasn't clear as to what was vegan or gf and what was not, the staff clearly understood the distinctions and were able to make tasty food that met everyone's needs. The food was delicious, inexpensive, generously portioned, and served promptly. Our party left very satisfied.

Is the decor dated? Sure it is. And if that's your main concern, definitely don't go to Vientiane. But if I was a local, I would go to this restaurant all the time. It's a solid place to get good food.

Pros: Tasty food, Generous portions, Low price

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Many sauces are not vegetarian - Edit

I tried to eat here but the server confirmed that there curry sauces do contained Worcestershire sauce and that the sauces on the dishes labeled vegetarian may still contain fish paste.

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Just ok - Edit

The food was spicy, but made with low quality ingredients. It was easy enough to have things made vegan, although there was no indication of how to do so on the menu. The culinary quality was moldy satisfying on an empty stomach, but far from impressive. It seemed more American than authentic.

Pros: affordable, quick, fairly easy to get vegan options

Cons: poor quality ingredients , bad service , no vegan labeling

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bad service, but go anyway! - Edit

The previous reviewer was correct in that the service at Vientiane is pretty lousy. But if you're prepared for it, you can be proactive and not let that ruin your enjoyment of what is pretty good food with generous portions at a great price.

First off, don't wait for the one waitress (there is rarely more than one) to come to you. Ever. Once you're seated and ready to order, just go up to the counter and order. Then ask for a pitcher of water (you will most likely go thirsty if you don't). Once the order is in, the food usually doesn't take long at all. Just remember to be proactive and don't let her ignore you. If you take my advice on this, the bad service that others around you are getting almost becomes comical.

And I concur with a previous review. This is the ONLY place in Madison that I don't go four stars. I did it once and I ate the whole dish, but it was not very enjoyable. It was insanely hot, and I have a really high tolerance for heat. Unless you're like me and most places are just never hot enough for you, go with three stars maximum, probably even fewer. My girlfriend has a decent tolerance for heat and she usually just gets one star. Don't be a hero!

With these things in mind, I think you can enjoy the experience. Pretty good food and lots of it for a very fair price (especially at lunch). Just make sure that there is no fish sauce in what you're ordering (unless you're into that - ewwww).

Pros: super spicy, cheap, big portions

Cons: bad service

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welcome to a non-American restaurant - Edit

a haven for heat lovers! Vientiane is known to the locals as the place to go for spicy Lao-Thai food. most restaurants tone down the heat scale for the typical midwestern palate, but this is not the case here. if you are daring, try "three stars" heat, otherwise ask for "no stars" or go somewhere else for a nice mild veggie burger. anyone asking for more than three stars is made of iron. with the closing of Thai Garden restaurant in Monona, this is one of the few remaining places left in town i can get it this hot--elsewhere i have to beg for hotter than four stars.

even with "zero stars," there's plenty of flavor in the dishes. the squash curry and an iced tea will brighten any cold winter day. the portions are generous for the price. i frequently take half my dish home for lunch the next day...the wonderful smells make coworkers envious when i heat it up in the break room.

Pros: spicy hot, flavorful, good value

Cons: little to no parking

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Long Wait, Rude Server, Too Spicy - Edit

When we specifically asked for mild, we were both served "extra hot" and couldn't eat the food at all. The waitress kept us waiting extra time when we politely mentioned our limited timeline, and she was smiling smuggly after we each had only one bite and had to pay $25 for 2 plates of food left on the table and leaving with our stomachs growling with hunger. WE WON'T BE BACK. SAVE YOUR MONEY for restaurants who treat you as a VALUED customer!!

Pros: NONE

Cons: Rude, Long Wait, Expensive and Inedible

1 Response
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harrysandy 03 May 2013 - website is http://vientianepalacerestaurant.com  


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