Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > DiningBuzz
Reload this Page >

Primer for Vietnamese food newbie?

Primer for Vietnamese food newbie?

Old Jul 26, 18, 5:42 pm
  #1  
Moderator Travel News, West, The Suggestion Box, Smoking Lounge & DiningBuzz
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Honors Diamond
Posts: 33,920
Primer for Vietnamese food newbie?

Somehow, I've never made it to a Vietnamese restaurant. But I'd like to try.

Anyone have a primer link handy? Or tips?

I like most sushi and Chinese food, but am very much a carnivore -- not much interested in vegetable dishes. Enjoy Hawaiian food, particularly pork laulau, saimin (with lots of meat/fish), poke.

What are your suggestions?

TIA!
cblaisd is offline  
Old Jul 26, 18, 6:51 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: BNA (Nashville)
Programs: HH Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,361
I always end up having a big bowl of Pho. Usually beef. I need to branch out and try something else when I go to a Vietnamese restaurant, but I always end up trying their Pho. And I have had some amazing Pho.

I need to try something else, so I will follow this thread. But Pho.
bitterproffit is offline  
Old Jul 27, 18, 6:41 am
  #3  
Moderator: CommunityBuzz!, OMNI, OMNI/PR, and OMNI/Games & FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: ORD (MDW stinks)
Programs: UAMM, AA PlatPro, SPG/Marriott lifetime Plat, IHG Spire/Ambassador, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 22,440
Pho for sure

Some others I've ordered regularly and enjoyed:

Bnh xo - Vietnamese crispy crepe
Catfish or pork in clay pot, the pot is baked and the fish sauce & other goodies caramelize in the pot
Fresh spring rolls (not fried) - wrapped around noodles, fresh herbs, shrimp or beef usually
Bnh m - one of the most incredible sandwiches you'll ever have, lots of options
Bn chả - grilled meat (I like pork chop version), vermicelli noodles, herbs and the ever important nuoc cham sauce
Goi Ga - chicken salad with fresh herbs
Broken Rice w/grilled pork chop and again with nuoc cham sauce

Enjoy, it is an amazingly flavorful cuisine
cblaisd, STBCypriot and wrp96 like this.

Last edited by Sweet Willie; Jul 27, 18 at 6:54 am
Sweet Willie is offline  
Old Jul 27, 18, 9:08 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: DCA
Programs: AA Platinum, Admirals Club Member, HHonors
Posts: 72
Here's a pretty good idea of the most popular Vietnamese dishes
https://www.houstonpress.com/restaur...uisine-6402510

Personally, I wan't to venture out and get creative with my Vietnamese, but if I find a place that has awesome Pho broth, I basically never get anything else. Add in all the siracha, all the jalapenos, the basil, the bean sprouts.... Can't go wrong. (skip the siracha and jalapenos if you're not into spicy)

I should also add: Be careful with what you ask for in your Pho. Most traditional, or authentic styles, include tripe and tendon which can be texturally off-putting to a newbie. Stick with the rare eye-round, fat brisket or well-done brisket unless you're feeling adventurous.
cblaisd likes this.

Last edited by cblaisd; Jul 27, 18 at 10:12 am Reason: merged poster's two consecutive posts
kahdgar is offline  
Old Jul 27, 18, 11:28 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: ORD
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Titanium/LT Platinum, Hilton Gold, AA Platinum
Posts: 4,435
Originally Posted by kahdgar View Post
Personally, I wan't to venture out and get creative with my Vietnamese, but if I find a place that has awesome Pho broth, I basically never get anything else. Add in all the siracha, all the jalapenos, the basil, the bean sprouts.... Can't go wrong. (skip the siracha and jalapenos if you're not into spicy)

I should also add: Be careful with what you ask for in your Pho. Most traditional, or authentic styles, include tripe and tendon which can be texturally off-putting to a newbie. Stick with the rare eye-round, fat brisket or well-done brisket unless you're feeling adventurous.
All good advice. The thing I'd add, which may be obvious, is make sure you go to an authentic Vietnamese restaurant, preferably family-run. There are a lot of places selling "pho" these days that just don't do it right. Making the broth is a long process, and I suspect most of these places use shortcuts, which is why the broth just doesn't have the deep flavors an authentic one does.
kahdgar likes this.
JBord is offline  
Old Jul 27, 18, 12:17 pm
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NY Metro Area
Programs: AA 2MM Yay!, UA MM, Costco General Member
Posts: 41,986
The first thing I would suggest is pho. In broadening my horizons some, I might suggest pho. And did I mention pho?

But in seriousness, I think pho is one of the great soups of the world. I've had it from restaurants here in NY to a small hole in the wall place in Hanoi, where it was mind bending good. Due to the ingredients, meat and such, and noodles, it's really a man course dish. Apart from pho, the banh mi, as mentioned, is often very good. I also like both the fried and steamed spring rolls. There is also a dish with cut up fried spring rolls on a bed of angel hair pasta that I love. Enjoy!

Last edited by GadgetFreak; Jul 28, 18 at 8:36 am
GadgetFreak is offline  
Old Jul 28, 18, 8:29 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: SFO
Posts: 5,090
Beef or chicken pho, if well made, are sublime.

Bo luc loc, aka shaking beef, is also one of my favorites.
Sweet Willie likes this.
work2fly is offline  
Old Jul 29, 18, 10:02 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: MSY
Programs: BA GfL
Posts: 5,340
I went to Vietnam in 1996, very early on in the development of the tourism industry there, and before I’d ever eaten Vietnamese food anywhere. My friend and I ate at dozens of restaurants, very few of which had any English on their menus or English-speaking staff. Our strategy was just to pick a few things at random and eat whatever showed up on the table. To this day, I remember the food we ate there as some of the most delicious, varied, and healthy cuisine I’ve ever had. Basically, everything we got was pretty wonderful. I don’t recall a single bad or even mediocre meal. What really struck me was the huge variety of dishes—not just rice and noodles, but all sorts of things, in all sorts of preparations. (The Vietnamese are no slouches at baking bread and pastry, too, due to the long French influence.)

These days when I eat at a Vietnamese restaurant I try to do the same thing—find something on the menu that I have no idea what it is, and order it. This strategy rarely fails. Just two weeks ago I did it at an amazingly good hole-in-the-wall place in Biloxi, and it was wonderful. (That time, I got banh hoi with grilled pork, and I confess that I discreetly Googled how to eat it when it showed up on the table, but it turned out that my assumption “wrap everything in the lettuce leaves” was correct )

I love good pho as much as the next person, but I do urge everyone to branch out.

Last edited by travelmad478; Jul 29, 18 at 10:07 pm
travelmad478 is offline  
Old Jul 30, 18, 6:30 am
  #9  
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the air
Programs: BA Gold, Marriott Amb, Hilton Diamond, AMEX Plat
Posts: 6,295
Pho is lovely, but it's a breakfast/ morning snack, akin to saying that US cuisine is all about pancakes with golden syrup. For something a little out there nobody has mentioned yet would be to find somewhere that does old Imperial cuisine from Hue which sounds to me like a kind of Asian Versailles during Louis 15th. It's very pretty and super over the top.

More conventionally, you'll see a big difference between the complex flavours of cooking around Hanoi (which had more of a French influence) and in the south which is generally "cleaner". I've found the Hanoi flavours more to my personal taste (red wine stewed beef pho - mmm), but each to their own.
EuropeanPete is offline  
Old Jul 30, 18, 7:48 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: ORD
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Titanium/LT Platinum, Hilton Gold, AA Platinum
Posts: 4,435
Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post

I love good pho as much as the next person, but I do urge everyone to branch out.
No question people should do this, Vietnamese food is some of the most flavorful I've had anywhere. But I do think pho is a good introduction to the cuisine, as it's almost a guarantee that the person will want to come back to the food and branch out as you suggest.
Sweet Willie likes this.
JBord is offline  
Old Jul 30, 18, 9:53 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Over the Bay Bridge, CA
Programs: Jumbo mas
Posts: 30,587
As a carnivore, you should scope out a restaurant that does a proper 7 Courses of Beef (B 7 mn)

VN cuisine, overall, is my favorite Southeast Asian food, and it is overall, at least with what seems to be available here, the healthiest of all the Asian cuisines (save, perhaps Japanese), given the vegetable to meat ratios, and the comparative lack of oil added to food.
Eastbay1K is offline  
Old Aug 22, 18, 5:23 pm
  #12  
Moderator: CommunityBuzz!, OMNI, OMNI/PR, and OMNI/Games & FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: ORD (MDW stinks)
Programs: UAMM, AA PlatPro, SPG/Marriott lifetime Plat, IHG Spire/Ambassador, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 22,440
Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Somehow, I've never made it to a Vietnamese restaurant. But I'd like to try.
Have you been yet?
Sweet Willie is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread