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Jul 12, 2010 11:05 AM

Tay Do Vietnamese in the Eden Center

I have been grazing through the menu at Tay Do and Lux Cafe (same menu and ownership). The Vietnamese sausage rolls are fantastic. I have tried a hotpot which is a really fun and long eating process - did I mention delicious? Today being hungover from yesterday's game I was going to try the pho, but was steered in a different direction by my waiter to try:

Hu Tieu Mi Tom, Thit (Soup or crispy), number 74.

This is a large soup (or dry) with either clear noodles or egg noodles with pork and shrimp and a shrimp cracker. It was outstanding. It has a rich chicken stock for the base and ground pork, sliced pork, shrimp, clear noodles, scallions and herbs. I added a few more herbs and a lime and magically my hangover is cured. I recommend this highly for both hung and non-hung over days. There are other variations with fish balls, liver, pork blood, etc, but today I was feeling unadventurous. I will surely try one others soon.

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

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  1. As a Connecticut foodie that recently transplanted to DC, I was pretty excited to make my first trip to Eden Church this evening. Given your reviews, sekelmaan, I headed straight for Tay Do. Unfortunately, it is currently closed. The sign out front says that new ownership will be reopening the restaurant on October 29. Too bad. I hope it maintains the same menu and quality. Unfortunately, I understand that this seems to have happened fairly routinely through the years.

    7 Replies
    1. re: DawesWilliams

      ...but you don't say where you did eat. Plenty of other places to chose from in Eden Center including Nha Trang, Bay Lo, Dai Huong. Do a search on this baord for recs.

      1. re: Steve

        Based in part on your reviews, we found our way back to Bay Lo and had two of the #13s on the blue menu, along with an order of soft shrimp rolls. It was all fantastic, though we were a bit confused about what to do with the lettuce. (Is it to be used as a wrap?) The family that owns it was really warm to us, and we will definitely return. In fact, we will no doubt eat our way through all of Eden Center, as we love Vietnamese and it seems like a real gem. We're really missing our New Haven restaurants (small city, but remarkable food scene), and Eden Center has been our favorite find to date. Now if we could just find Mexican and Indian that "wow!"

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

        1. re: DawesWilliams

          I don't remembr what #13 is, but I'm glad you liked it! My guess is that the lettuce should be used as a wrap, that certainly makes sense if they give you large leaves of lettuce.

          Next time you go the Eden Center, go to Nha Trang and get the noodle dish that has "shrimp paste in the shape of worms." It seems that everyone I have introduced to this 'soup' has raved about it.

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

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

          1. re: Steve

            The #13 is the Bay Lo 7 Special that the family always seems to recommend. Maybe it was actually sekelmaan that raved about it, but it was very good. I assumed the lettuce was meant to be used as a wrap, but I only gave it a very awkward attempt before I gave up!

            1. re: DawesWilliams

              Yes, I've had the Bay Lo 7 Special; I love it. Didn't realize the menu number.

          2. re: DawesWilliams

            My current favorite dish at the Eden Center is the De Xao Lan, spicy goat curry, at Hai Duong. It is on the board only. Squeeze the lime into the spicy salt and dip your meat in it. It is a tremendous dish.

            1. re: sekelmaan

              This is very good as well, as is Dai Huong's cha ca than long (crispy catfish with dill) and the rice soup with duck salad.

      2. Does anyone have any suggestions of any vegetarian options at any of these restaurants? My husband loves Vietnamese food (and the spicy goat at Hai Duong sounds right up his alley) but I usually veto Vietnamese places because I'm a vegetarian-who-eats-fish --and I rarely find anything tasty. Any recommendations would be appreciated -- especially by my husband :)

        3 Replies
        1. re: anakalia

          Eating fish certainly opens up plenty of options in a Vietnamese restaurant. At Dai Huong, they make a nice Cha Ca Than Long, which is a crispy catfish dish. Now that the cold weather may come soon, also check out the rice soups.

          1. re: Steve

            Great, thanks for the recommendations. I look forward to getting over to Dai huong, and crispy catfish sounds wonderful.

          2. re: anakalia

            I am assuming that fish includes shellfish. Here are a couple of very tasty options for you:

            Lotus root salad--ask them to leave OUT the pork and just include the shrimp. This is a light and very tasty salad. The lotus roots (really baby roots) do have the occasional white fiber that bears a disturbing resemblance to hair. This would be good without the shrimp, too.

            Vegetarian rolls--many Vietnamese places offer a veggie version of their cha gio, which is very good.

            Salt and pepper shrimp or squid.

            Caramelized fish. Sounds weird to western tastes, but tastes very good. Huong Viet does a good version.

            Pretty much any sauteed greens dish.

            Huong Viet also added mussels to their menu recently. We opted for the white wine and garlic version over the weekend and they were plump and tasty.

            Beware the baby clam dish--it always has pork cracklings.

            Huong Viet Restaurant
            6785 Wilson Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22044

          3. Tay Do was evidently closed for renovations for a few weeks. They reopened on Oct. 29. (My family and I fortuitously dropped in the day after it opened while we were in town.) They didn't yet have a renewed liquor license when we were there on the 30th.

            I can't say anything about the decor change, since this was our first time eating there, but it looks like the menu has changed a bit. There's now a section for barbecue/grilled meats, which wasn't on older menus I saw on and other sites with archived menus. The menu we were presented with only had two options for pho: pho bo or pho ga. Our server (the garrulous and friendly 16 year old brother of the owner) did ask us what kind of pho bo we wanted, though.

            They still have a huge section for hot pot, which I would've liked to've tried.

            2 Replies
              1. re: Steve

                I'm not sure we were able to get a good feel for the restaurant since we only ordered two dishes: curried goat barbecue and pho bo.

                We eat a lot of Vietnamese food and have spent a little bit of time in Vietnam, but I'd never tried curried goat, before, so don't have much basis for comparison. Tay Do's was tough, though not at all gamy.... I wasn't a huge fan of the curry seasoning, which was a bit acrid. I did like that it came with several types of fresh herbs and vegetables, rice paper wrappers that you softened yourself in a bowl of hot water, and a bunch of Korean panchan-like small dishes (which I don't think are "authentic", but no matter). The portion size was massive.

                My pho had a nice, light broth w/o too much five spice or sweetness, which I really liked. The meat in the pho was sliced far too thickly, which I didn't like. I think there was a good amount of MSG in the broth, since I was very, very thirsty, afterwards.

                What dishes do you particularly like there?