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looking for great vietnamese food

We are visiting family in Gaithersburg and also DC and looking for great cooking, but not fancy restaurant. I'm guessing that it shouldn't be hard to find good Vietnamese food in the area. Suggestions?

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  1. Eh, Gaithersburg doesn't have that big of a Vietnamese presence. You can go to Taste of Saigon, Pho 75 or Ba Le in Rockville. Or, you can go slightly northwest of Vietnam and hit up the really amazing Burma Road in Gaithersburg. There is also Pho and Grill in Gaithersburg but I find their food in general pretty tame. It's right around the corner from my house so I end up there every once in a while and I'd recommend it in a pinch but if I had to choose I'd do Burma Road instead.

    Gaithersburg does do Salvadorean, Peruvian, Chinese and Thai really well - if you want any suggestions on those fronts let me know.

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    Taste of Saigon
    410 Hungerford Dr, Rockville, MD 20850

    Burma Road
    617 S Frederick Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

    6 Replies
    1. re: reiflame

      There is a hole-in-the-wall in Bethesda called Rice Paddies Grill that I love. I always order the pork rice noodle bowl and summer rolls.

      1. re: chicken kabob

        Sure but Bethesda is pretty far from Gaithersburg.

        1. re: reiflame

          And Rice Paddies Grill, not to put too fine a point on it, is terrible. Don't understand why it keeps getting the love here.

            1. re: Marty L.

              IMO, it's not terrible. It's fine, and I don't mind eating there when I'm in Bethesda. But I definitely wouldn't go out of my way to go there.
              Now Eden Center, that's worth going out of your way for!

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              Eden Center
              Falls Church, VA, USA, Falls Church, VA

              1. re: hamster

                The Eden Center is a great place to go if you're an experienced Vietnamese foodie, if you're willing to experiment, or you come with a huge appetite and a couple of hours and can graze a few shops and restaurants. But someone who drives into the lot and picks a restaurant at random (or perhaps by reading the menu on the window) is as likely to be puzzled or disappointed than elated.

                Fortunately there have been a few specific recommendations from Eden Center regulars here that have at least steered me away from disappointments or unpleasant surprises, but since Four Sisters moved away, I haven't had a meal there that I've enjoyed as much.

        1. re: woodleyparkhound

          I would add a P.S. to my recommendation for Pho Viet. I think this is a really nice, neighborhood spot - and it has become where I always go when I'm in the mood for pho or bun. I consider it very, very good for DC Vietnamese (not necessarily "great" - to me, "great" is The Slanted Door in San Francisco - this is very far out of that league). I have yet to find "great" Vietnamese in DC. But it's rather out of the way for someone from out of town... it's about 10 minutes walk north of the Columbia Heights Metro station... just so you know!

        2. Eden Center (Falls Church) is somewhat of a detour between Gaithersburg and DC, but, depending upon time of day, it might be an option.

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          Eden Center
          Falls Church, VA, USA, Falls Church, VA

          6 Replies
          1. re: Lori D

            Eden Center in Virginia is a very interesting destination in itself. Over 23 Vietnamese restaurants plus cafes, shops, bakeries, etc. Quite a scene in the evening with 'hidden' corridors and fascinating food browsing.

            www.edencenter.com

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            Eden Center
            Falls Church, VA, USA, Falls Church, VA

            1. re: Steve

              I would like to visit Eden Center for the first time and have enjoyed the few Vietnamese dishes I've had. But I would like recs for a few dishes to try and some restuarants to visit. Thanks

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              Eden Center
              Falls Church, VA, USA, Falls Church, VA

              1. re: MoCoMe

                In the Saigon East mall, go to Nha Trang. Great items include the noodle dish -it's actually a soup- with shrimp paste in the shape of 'worms.' That's how it's described on the menu. Then there is the Bo Luc Lac -aka shaky beef, roast quail, minced clams served with sesame crackers, and their special ground pork wrapped in rice paper - I think it is the #7 appetizer, they are like super-sized garden rolls served with an orange dipping sauce.

                All awesome stuff.

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                Nha Trang
                6757 Wilson Blvd Ste 7, Falls Church, VA 22044

                1. re: MoCoMe

                  This thread talks about two restaurants in Eden Center and their versions of bun cha Hanoi, a dish that I love.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/713674

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                  Eden Center
                  Falls Church, VA, USA, Falls Church, VA

                  1. re: MoCoMe

                    I love Saigon Cafe, which is a restaurant actually across Wilson from Eden Center (in the mall strip with the Guitar Center in it). They are very friendly there and I've never been disappointed with the food. I brought two relative newbies to Vietnamese food there a few weeks ago and they were blown away.

                    I recommend ordering any of the bun dishes (vermicelli noodles with grilled meats and spring rolls on top), the green papaya salad with beef jerky, the fresh spring rolls with Vietnamese sausage.

                    Also I am a repeat customer at Song Que, a deli in the main Eden Center (outdoor part, in the corner), where I really enjoy their bubble tea (green tea and green milk tea). They also have lots of interesting snack treats you can experiment with. Vietnamese sandwiches there are pretty good (grilled pork, grilled chicken are my fav's), though Banh Mi So 1's may be better (on the other side of the parking lot). I highly recommend you get a Vietnamese sandwich if you've never tried one before. Only a $3 investment and so amazing.

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                    Eden Center
                    6763 Wilson Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22044