DD Mau's Second Location Brings Fast-Casual Vietnamese Fare to Webster Groves

DD Mau serves fast-casual Vietnamese cuisine in Maryland Heights, and now in Webster Groves as well. - CHERYL BAEHR
DD Mau serves fast-casual Vietnamese cuisine in Maryland Heights, and now in Webster Groves as well.

After over a year of searching for a space to expand her popular fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant, DD Mau (20 Allen Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-926-0900), owner Julie Truong had found a home in Webster Groves. The new location opened on July 14 in Old Webster and features a menu that matches that of the original Maryland Heights shop, with the addition of expanded dessert options and a forthcoming line of ice creams made in-house.

“I walked around Webster just to eat, and I fell in love with the neighborhood.” Truong says.

Truong found the space which would become the second location of DD Mau not long after that initial experience with the area. With its outdoor patio, ample parking, lots of large windows, and a separate section from which Truong plans to sell her ice cream made the choice easy.

“You couldn’t say no,” she says.

The new DD Mau is Truong’s latest “yes” to the restaurant business. A former fashion industry professional, Truong left a successful job in Chicago to return to her hometown of St. Louis to pursue her dreams of owning her own eatery. She succeeded in that vision, opening the Maryland Heights storefront three years ago. The response exceeded her expectations and made her realize she should think about opening a second outlet.

click to enlarge Julie Truong. - MABEL SUEN
Julie Truong.

Fans of the original location will be pleased to see their familiar favorites at the new DD Mau. The menu hosts a wide variety of customizable options, including banh mi, bao, rice bowls, salad bowls, tacos, and more. Each comes with a choice of nearly a dozen different meat and plant-based proteins, such as steak, pork, duck or vegan shrimp. Guests can also choose from a variety of sauces and condiments to top their dishes, including spicy peanut, sweet chili, hoisin or vegan Vietnamese vinegar.

Truong’s personal recommendations are the vermicelli bowl—rice noodles, veggies, and a choice of protein—and the pho with the combo protein option that consists of a mix of steak, brisket, and meatballs. Of the vegan and vegetarian options, Truong highlights the tofu.

“People are in love with the tofu; it’s very crispy and it compliments every single dish,” Truong says, also noting that the shrimp spring rolls are not to be overlooked either thanks to their rice paper wraps, veggie and vermicelli noodles and cooking technique that makes the shrimp shine. “Our shrimp is not blanched; it’s marinated and then grilled, so the flavor really comes out.”

click to enlarge Spring rolls are stuffed with shrimp, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber and vermicelli noodles. - MABEL SUEN
Spring rolls are stuffed with shrimp, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber and vermicelli noodles.

Truong is grateful to the residents of Webster Groves, nearby Kirkwood and even some regulars who frequented the Maryland Heights location for a successful opening. Customers knew what to expect from DD Mau, and Truong set high expectations for herself. She notes that pening the first one was a little different, because she didn’t know what to expect, but opening the second spot had the pressure of her guest’s expectations. That she’s been able to meet them so far has been energizing.

Happy to invest that energy into her two existing locations, what Truong can say no to, at least for now, is the prospect of a third DD Mau. With an upcoming wedding and plans to have kids, she thinks it’s best to focus on what she already has.

“There’ll just be a lot on my plate,” she says. “As of now, no. A firm no. Maybe after kids.”

For now, though, fans of the original DD Mau can find their favorites in Webster Groves and the original Maryland Heights spot – and for anyone who has not been, Truong is excited to make new regulars.

“Just come on over,” Truong says. “We’re always there!”

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