Hubby and I had a quick lunch the other day at Long Thanh. We needed it to be close to home and we wanted something not horribly filling because we had a big dinner ahead of us.
We went in with the intention to order the Vietnamese pancake ($6.95) and the rare lemon beef ($7.95), which we did, but then as I scanned the menu, I noticed something called “butter wings” ($3.50). Described as chicken wings fried in butter and garlic, how could I say no? (My prices might be slightly off, as my carry out menu is pretty old).
The pancake was good—as you might know, these are one of my favorite things in Vietnamese restaurants. This one falls squarely in the good category. I like that all the stuff inside the crepe (shrimp, pork, bean sprouts and onions) are all warm and have been lightly sautéed (even the sprouts). I like sprouts, bit in a warm dish, I like it when they have just a little of the raw edge off of them. I also liked that they gave you not only fresh lettuce to wrap with the pancake, but fresh cilantro as well, which I used all over my half. I like the fresh green flavor. It is a good crepe, just slightly crisp on the edges but hearty enough for al the fillings, which are generous at Long Thanh. I like the seasoned fish sauce-this one having just a bit more chili flavor than most.
I love the rare beef salad. I recently listed this in my favorite things post, and it still stands. It is really tangy with lemon (and lime I am guessing) and even with the freshly fried rice chips, you feel like it is pretty healthy. There is shredded lettuce and julienned carrots and onions, which are all marinated well in the citrus and some chopped peanuts on top for a bit of crunch and salt. There is basil and cilantro mixed in as well. And little pieces of the very thinly sliced rare beef—the beef is very tender. I love making a bite with all the parts of the dish and putting them on the rice crackers and listen to them pop from the juices.
The chicken wings were new to us though, and even though they were killing the moderately “healthy” aspect of our planned lunch, they were quite delicious. It was two whole wings split into pieces so you got two drumstick looking part and two of the flatter parts of the wing. Then they tempura batter and fry them and they are seriously delicious. On their own they’re good, but in the spicy soy based dipping sauce they are even better. I can’t really think they are cooked in butter, but they do taste buttery. Seriously, you should give them a go if you like fried chicken. And dang, are they big wings….the kind that makes you scared to see the chicken they might come from.
We’re pretty lucky to have this little place in our neighborhood. There is some very good Vietnamese food in Indy, and I think more people are coming to appreciate it—and Long Thanh, while in no way fancy at all, is up there with the very good ones. What do you guys think?
5707 East 71st Street