Sunday, May 15, 2011

Huong Viet - Falls Church 5/15/11

The Eden Center can be overwhelming when you go there for the first time. It is rather huge strip mall filled with stores, restaurants, and bars that cater to the local Vietnamese community. While most of these restaurants are known for particular entrees (the noodle place, the soup place, the fried tofu place), Huong Viet is generally considered to have one of the more consistently good menus.

When we got there, it was fairly crowded, and while the crowd did ebb and flow, it stayed consistently busy throughout the day, with people waiting to get a seat. Now, consider that they did this when there must be at least 15 other Vietnamese restaurants within a 2 minute radius of the place (literally...if anything, this may be an understatement).

I've been here before and can say that the "bun" dish (basically a vermicelli noodle dish smothered in fresh vegetables with grilled pork on top) is something that everyone should try once. The grilled pork is extremely flavorful, and slight bitterness from the grilling interacts well with the refreshing acidic lift of the sauce on top of the noodles.

Today, I went family style with my group of friends and we got several dishes. We accidently ordered fried spring rolls (we were trying to get the fresh, unfried rolls, but it got lost in translation) which were crisp and not greasy. Delicious with nuroc cham, a sweet and sour Vietnamese fish sauce. We also had a beef salad that was really refreshing and filled with fresh herbs like cilantro. Our three entrees were a yellow curry with catfish, caramelized pork with black pepper, and grilled lemongrass chicken. All three were good, though the lemongrass chicken was something you could have gotten in a pan-Asian restaurant and probably isn't worth the trip (but you won't have any regrets if you order was very well prepared). But, you can't go wrong with the caramelized pork which was absolutely delicious. I enjoyed the fish curry, though my friend wished the curry was stronger.

On your first trip to the Eden Center, go to Huong Viet. It is consistently tasty and you won't go wrong ordering blindly on that menu.

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