Vietnamese for kids (and adults)
We are planning a trip to Vietnam for extended family in the next year. I want to introduce my (infuriatingly picky and non-adventurous) 4 and 6 year old children to vietnamese food before we go, so that they will eat something besides plain white rice when we are there. I am looking for suggestions on where to take them (starting from Belmont, closeness a plus but not a necessity) and what foods to start them on. Thanks.
Closest to Belmont I suppose would be either Le's in Harvard Square or the place in Medford Square. Neither are as good as Xihn Xihn or the droves of places in Fields Corner.
Don't know how picky your kids are, but here are some basics:
goi cuon - fresh springrolls
cha goi - fried springrolls
bahn mi - cold cut sandwich
goi are salads - shredded veggies & meats
pho - the soup
bun - noodles
thit lui - skewered glazed meat
Our 4-year-old (who is very picky and hates anything having to do w/a vegetable - not sure how this all happened, but it's what we've got!) loves pho too. She also happens to dig tofu, so we often just order her vermicelli noodles and steamed tofu when we're out for Vietnamese (which is very often). We are most often "dining" at the Vietnamese place in the Super 88 food court - takes us about 15 min. from Belmont.
re: gansu girl
I recommend starting with a place like Le's or Pho Pasteur if you're trying to sell your kids on Vietnamese. Places in chinatown might be more authentic, but not the best place to bring picky eaters. Another dish that hasnt been mentioned are the kho's which are basically meats (fish, pork, chicken...) cooked in a hot pot with caramel sauce. They're pretty sweet so that might appeal to kids. thats my $0.02. good luck and enjoy :) also, I'm very jealous. vietnam is an amazing place!
Just in from out of town, I had lunch yesterday at the Pho Pasteur in Chinatown. It was busy and we were seated with a mom and her 5 year old, who ate well. He had the wonton soup, and it looked really good. I had the seafood pho with rice noodles, in the small size. The large is huge! Anyway, it really hit the spot and the broth was certainly mildly flavored (as I imagine the chicken broth would be) and I think suitable for kids. I added plenty of sriracha, for heat. The atmosphere at lunch was bustling and fun. If you're in that part of town, it would be worth a try.