Real quick, I can’t help myself. I love this place and its Vietnamese pancake ($7.25) and its rare lemon beef. Seriously, those two things are great. Just the right amount of food for hubby and I to split for lunch. The light pancake (think crepe really) stuffed with pork, bean sprouts and shrimp and served with the lightly spicy lightly tangy fish sauce. I like to eat it wrapped up in the lettuce leaves they serve with it. And I love the pure acidity of the rare lemon beef. The shredded lettuce, carrots and onion with a touch of jalapeno make a nice salad with thin slices of beef on top as well as a sprinkle of chopped peanuts. The dressing has that lemon kick and then when you add more of the same sauce served with this dish as well, it’s the perfect little flavor bomb. Oh, and they serve it with crispy little fried rice crackers that crackle when you top them with the salad giving it the perfect little texture variation. These are my two favorite items. (Price-wise, things are generally under $8).
However, on this day we also had my daughter with us for the first time (we usually don’t take the kids due to my son’s nut allergies), so we also got a few other items that she wanted to try. Ok, and yes, hubby and I are certainly always game to try something new, particularly when we still get to get our favorites.
We ordered some potstickers and the clay pot catfish as well. Hubby loved the potstickers and had the lion’s share of them. I enjoyed them, but potstickers are rarely my favorite thing. These were tender, but pretty dense. The clay pot catfish was tasty—it had an interesting almost sweet flavor from the caramelization of the onions and the fish. The fish was extremely tender—it basically fell apart on your fork when you ate it. I really enjoyed the onions in the dish, we ate all of them. Overall, it had a peppery flavor, some nice herbs mixed in and that sweet caramel sauce. I enjoyed it, but I can’t say it will sway me from my favorites.
Overall, this is one of my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants that just happens to be very close to my house. I know I have written about it several times already, but it just reflects how much we eat there. You should try it some time. Stick to the Vietnamese side of things though.
5707 East 71st Street