What Charmin Bears Love: Food|Dogs|Sephora

Our foodie instincts take over when we're out and about.

New York City and Brooklyn: Vietnamese

on October 6, 2011

V-Nam Cafe @ 20 1st Ave (btw 1st and 2nd)

I was coming off the subway, walking towards St Marks for brunch. I quickly walked by a small cafe that made me turn back around. The aroma of pho drew me in further to look at the menu. Traditional Vietnamese cuisine in the Village? A rarity!… but I checked it off as a place to try. I searched Yelp and it was 4 stars with great reviews.

V-Nam Cafe - Traditional Banh Mi

V-Nam Cafe - Traditional Banh Mi

After brunch I walked back to grab a banh mi to go. Hands down, one of the best banh mi sandwiches I’ve had in NYC. I’ve gone back to try the pho too! Tucked in the Vietnamese deli meat is a yummy portion of cha siu meat, very popular here in NYC. There is also julienned daikon and carrots. Jalapenos are optional :) My only gripes about this place: no toaster for that crispy bread texture and not even using the right roll for an authentic banh mi.

Thanh Da @ 6008 7th Ave (between 60th St & 61st St)

Located in Sunset Park of Brooklyn, Thanh Da is a small authentic Vietnamese eatery with stellar reviews, from Yelp to Times. There was a big fly buzzing around the tables while I was eating. Gross >.< Food is always delicious, but I always question the cleanliness of budget friendly Asian restaurants.

Thanh Da - Rare Beef and Meatballs Pho

Thanh Da - Rare Beef and Meatballs Pho

Pho is one of the most popular choices in Vietnamese cuisine. This bowl of pho had a great aromatic broth made from a combination of beef bones, star anise, coriander, and cinnamon. Noodles and condiments are good. I always get the rare beef and meatballs so I dip them in hoisin/Sriracha sauce.

Thanh Da - Bun Rieu

Thanh Da - Bun Rieu

Another bowl of noodles I almost always order is bun rieu, a tomato-crab based soup. I’ve only had really good bun rieu in Brooklyn. The broth was a little sweet from the tomatoes, savory from the crab and shrimp. Other ingredients include fried tofu. Delicious! Light in broth but packs alot of flavor! The chunks of crab and shrimp cake (sometimes made with ground pork) is my favorite part.

Thanh Da - Banh Beo

Thanh Da - Banh Beo

Banh Beo was introduced to me by Charmin Bear T. It literally means “water fern cake” in Vietnamese. It’s usually made of rice flour in a small dimpled pancake form. The center is filled with mung bean paste, scallions, dried shrimps, fish sauce. Sometimes you will find fresh shrimp, fried shallots, rice vinegar, and oil fillings too. Super yummy as a snack or as a meal. I need to learn how to make this dish too! The ones here at Thanh Da are soft and scrumptious. Of course I had to pack them up to go. I always order so much.

Finding great tasting Vietnamese cuisine is not an easy task. One day, these dishes will inspire me to create my own version and maybe for Charmin Bear T to try.

– Charmin Bear J


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