Brooklyn Chinatown Vietnames
Looking to go for Vietnamese in Brooklyn's Chinatown tonight. I did a search but most threads were pretty old. Anyone have any particular favorite places for anything from pho to banh mi to bbq beef? Thanks for any help you can offer.
I really like Nha Trang Palace. Haven't had their banh mi, but bbq beef/pork or shrimp on tiny rice stick is one of my favorite summer foods ever. Nice pho, good spring rolls. I've never had a bad meal there.
We went for Chinese on Sunday night but the place where we were going seemed to have gone out of business so we tried to go to Ti-An for Vietnamese. We found that Ti-An had gone out of business and there was a new Vietnamese restaurant in its place at 5604 8th Ave (right next to Giam Lak II). We decided to give it a try and were very pleased with our meal. Everything we had was very good.
We have recently tried both Nha Trang Palace and Gia Lam (1, I think).
Random bits of memory, I had the #20 grilled beef with sesame seasoning on rice threads at Gia Lam, similar to the dish I had at Nha Trang Palace (#34) but I like the Gia Lam version better. Conversely, the pho my guy had at Gia Lam was very nice, but he gave the edge to the similar dish he had at NTPalace (pho with brisket). My favorite sampling at GL was the #48 grilled pork chop and shredded pork and egg patty on rice (this last part was almost pate-like, very nice. My guy’s chicken stir fry with straw mushrooms was very tasty.
At NTPalace we very much enjoyed the #92 chicken lemongrass with pepper, onions and chili sauce. It had a sly heat and plenty of flavor. We also (over ordered) the 36A Vietnamese pan-fried cake which came late in the meal when we were gasping for mercy. It sounded like a nice, little thing. It was huge, a pancake stuffed with vegetables, shredded pork and shrimp. Impressive enough, but not terribly interesting in boca. No doubt we couldn’t fully appreciate it at that point.
The only real disappointment was the soft shell crab special; I just couldn’t resist it. It was cooked to death, bland and quite unremarkable. Oh well.
I should try some of the nearby competition, but I keep going back to Gia Lam (Eighth Ave @ 48th St), which I read about in here. Their spring rolls are the best I've found in NYC--on par with Kim Son in my hometown (if you EVER go to Houston, you must hit the downtown Kim Son, which started out in an old disco and became so popular they built a 400 seat palace next door while maintaining the quality, but I digress). I don't pay attention to the numbers or remember the name, but the grilled beef dish that you wrap in lettuce along with rice noodles and sundry pickled root vegetables is fab. And every table has a pot of this fresh red hot sauce--much brighter and hotter than the ubiquitous stuff in the bottle. At other places in my experience, one typically has to ask for the stuff to be brought out.
I went to Na Trang Palace last night as a result of searches on this board. I'd been to Ba Xuyen earlier in the day but only for coffee. I was a bit disappointed with the Pho at Na Trang Palace. While good, it did not have the depth or richness of flavor that I'm used to at Pho Bang on Mott St. in Manhattan. I have no idea how authentic Pho Bang is, but it's broth beats Na Trang hands down. I had to drop about a shot glass of hot sauce in the Pho to really get my sinuses going, whereas at Pho Bang the broth alone gives me a decent sweat. The brisket was done well, though.
As an entree I had the BBQ Beef wrapped in Vietnamese Leaves with rice, which was decent and tasty but nothing to write home about. I'll give the place another shot definitely though.