Want to end your summer on the right note? You may need a swirl of dairy-free passion fruit and pineapple soft serve. Or a deep purple ube-flavored crème brûlée with a thin layer of crackling sugar on top. Either one can be the perfect end to a meal of banh mi–style tacos filled with pork belly, or a panini filled with bulgogi-flavored beef brisket.
This Wonka-esque range of edible enchantments comes courtesy of a trio of sisters who run The Mixx Delight. Tucked in the petite space that was most recently the Madeleine Proust bakery in Vienna’s Wolftrappe Shopping Center, the restaurant has only a few seats but offers heart (and big flavor) in spades.
Until she was out on her own, Phi Tran took the excellent food that her family made for granted. “We were immigrants from Vietnam. We always ate good food. I didn’t really cook or pay attention to cooking skills, but when I got married, it just clicked,” she says.
Tran was born in the Philippines, but after nine months in Manila, her family made it to Texas before settling in California. Tran had just graduated high school when her engineer father became a pastor and began to build the First Vietnamese American United Methodist Church in Arlington. She and her sisters Loan and Nancy joined their parents on the East Coast.
In 2015, Tran’s own professional transformation was no less dramatic. She worked for a dentist specializing in implant surgery when her family purchased a food truck from a fellow church member. “We had no clue what we were doing the first two years,” Tran says with a laugh. “The industry was so saturated, and [our competitors were] such hustlers. They knew the game.”
But she stuck with it. The truck, called New Gourmet Delight, became a staple at corporate events. It expanded to include a second vehicle, Sweet Gourmet Delight, serving younger sister Nancy’s imaginative treats, including her ever-changing flavors of featherlight soft serve.
The trucks are still on the road, but as Tran says, “The Mixx Delight incorporates both.” And more. There are now salad bowls and regular specials to augment the panini, tacos, and loaf cakes. The collection of original flavor combinations is a triumph. 448 Maple Ave. E., Vienna
Feature image by Amie Otto