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Rice Vermicelli (Bun) -- Need recs.

I am completely obsessed with Rice Vermicelli (Bun) -- a tasty combo of grilled meat on top of slippery vermicelli noodles, shredded lettuce, fresh mint, bean sprouts and toasted peanuts.

I had an unfortunate experience at Pho Pasteur (Chinatown location) a few weeks ago when my vermicelli was topped with beef that was less than fresh (beyond slimy and utterly tasteless). I’m ready to venture out and try a new place in the Chinatown/Financial district area – any recs?

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  1. My recommendation would be Xinh Xinh - one of my favorites in Chinatown.

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    Xinh Xinh
    7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

    8 Replies
        1. re: Rubee

          Second this rec.

          If you ever feel like you should get the one at Le's in Harvard Square, save yourself the agony and just don't. Trust me.

          1. re: gini

            Really? Because the bun is so much my go-to dish at Le's (both Harvard and Allston) that I often have to force myself to order other things. Why do you find it sub-par?

            Outside of the OP's requested area, but I can report that the bun at PhoViet in the Allston Super 88 food court is...entirely adequate but not outstanding. Still the best banh mi in town, though.

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              Like gini, I dislike the Le's Harvard Sq.'s version (I dislike that place in general...Allston is better). The last time I ate there (when it was still Pho Pasteur, about 2 or 3 years ago), the bun was prepared with obvious indifference. Edible (we were hungry) but dry and anemic.

              1. re: digga

                The version in Harvard is pretty boring, tasteless, and lifeless still. Had it last winter and could have just as well been eating cardboard.

              2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                you know, i just had the rice vermicelli at pho viet and thought it was pretty good. roast pork had a nice touch of sweetness to balance the salt, the vegs were crisp and fresh, and a good size for my $6.50. but i'm not a bun connoisseur, so i'll have to try it at xinh xinh and le's.

                about their banh mi, though--the first time i had one a few months ago (roast pork) i thought it was out of this world. i've been back several times since then, and each time it's become more ordinary. i don't know if that reflects declining banh mi excellentness, or if i'm just becoming jaded.

                1. re: autopi

                  I eat an average of 2.5 banh mi per week from Pho Viet, enough that they don't even ask for my order anymore, they just take my $3. I have detected no drop-off in quality.

          2. If you're in the Symphony/MFA area, Pho & I on Huntington & Mass Ave has terrific bun. I get the chicken version, and it always has perfect grill-iness and a little pungency from the lemongrass. I also like that in addition to the mint and sprouts and whatnot, it's got a vinegar-ed carrot & cuke salad in there, which nicely complements the other flavors. It's my go-to bun, but chinatown isn't really accessible for lunch from where I am.

            1. Thanks all for the recs! I just tried the beef vermicelli at Xinh Xihn and it was wonderful. A new favorite!