Falls Church is blessed with quite a few wonderful ethnic eating places like Bep Viet in which buyers can get a “trip” to Vietnam and love a regular Vietnamese meal right right here near Small Town.
The interior of this hidden gem at a tiny strip center behind Invoice Web page Honda on Arlington Boulevard was a shock to me whose cafe stereotype with tile flooring, tabletops and fluorescent lighting could not have been much more misguided.
Stage inside of Bep Viet (whose identify usually means “Viet kitchen”) to elegant environment with a menu to please vegetarians and meat eaters, both of those.
Attractive arts from Vietnam blend with living crops, picket floors, tables, and chairs to impart a warm, intimate environment where by soft piano audio performs in the track record, and a handsome bar in a corner awaits attendees.
“We want clients to appreciate their food and not be hurried,” claimed chef and proprietor Michael Phan in an interview at the eatery.
Paintings by Phan’s father of countryside scenes of the country hang on the appropriate wall to whisk friends briefly to Vietnam. Glance on the remaining and see the cash, Saigon, in huge, framed pictures of yesteryear’s scenes, which are unrecognizable today, Phan said.
Immediately after operating with family customers at a restaurant for a number of years in Eden Heart, Phan explained he preferred to make anything nicer, to make for a great dining expertise and so he has, with the assistance of his spouse, Elaine.
“We are a team who tried out to develop a thing we enjoy to do with common and reliable Vietnamese food stuff. I do the cooking and she would make the desserts,” he said.
The most popular dishes are from the pho family, created various diverse approaches, including beef noodle soup ($13.95) with rooster ($12.95) or seafood ($15.95).
A different best selection is the “golden pancake” ($12.95) or “golden crepe,” a mixture of mung bean, onion, turmeric, bean sprouts and shrimp or greens (tofu), blended, sauteed and rolled like an omelet.
It is served with mixed greens and fish sauce, and the chef offered feeding on directions: “You fold it in 50 percent, tear off a little bit and dip it in the sauce.” I, who is not fond of everything “crepe” or omelet, had to attempt one and master the thriller.
It was substantial, covering 50 percent the plate. The shell was crunchy and light, with a sweet taste, but not far too sweet, garnished by sprouts, cilantro and greens which help maintain the calorie rely lower, despite the fried shell.
In a term: delicious, which I managed to take in at one sitting and wished for far more.
On my initial go to to Bep Viet I was joined by my mates Marisa and Nora who supplied opinions of their supper picks.
Marisa, a frequent Bep Viet buyer, described her veggie spring rolls ($5.50) as “a refreshing meal starter with strips of pleasantly chewy baked tofu and a wonderful, not frustrating complement of mouth watering peanut sauce.”
Her partner, Sean, found his takeout meal of sauteed tofu and broccoli ($14.95), “fresh and flavorful’’ even though Nora labeled her tofu and greens on a bed of delicate noodles ($14.95), “quite delicious a best option for vegetarians.”
On that take a look at I ordered the grilled lemongrass chicken with lettuce, carrots, cucumber, and bean sprouts ($13.95) which came with correctly cooked steamed rice, light-weight and fluffy. The rooster was tender and moist. I also ate shrimp backyard rolls ($6.95) with rice vermicelli and mixed greens wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut sauce, that style so appealing I could have eaten the sauce solo with out the backyard garden rolls!
The meals all seemed low-calorie and when I strike my brain’s “refresh” tab, I recognized that obese Vietnamese men and women are unheard of. Their foods assist to explain why!
As for a dessert, it took me various minutes of staring at the refrigerated scenario of of colors and options ($4.95-$7.95) just before I settled on the crowning of a liquid inexperienced “something” (on the lookout like melting inexperienced jello which it was not!) atop a creamy white foundation of taro, sweet rice and coconut cream which Phan explained to me was Bep Viet’s finest-providing dessert.
Fairly than conserving the most effective for final (carpe diem!), I started my meal with this tasty take care of which was as opposed to any other dessert I’ve eaten and well worth two times its charge ($5.95).
Taro is a root vegetable with anti-oxidants, nutrients, and vitamins, and believed to sluggish down the aging course of action and add to a healthier pounds decline, so it’s alright to buy various servings as I longed to do. (Try to eat up your taro!)
The Phans live in Falls Church which is why the cafe is primarily based here. They came to the U.S. from Vietnam as small children in the 1970s and, right after doing work with family members for lots of decades in the cafe company, opened Bep Viet in 2019, about 6 months before Covid-19 hit. It was not till last June that the cafe re-opened.
Issues are slowly but surely finding better, Phan claimed, and they are grateful.
He quotes his father-in-legislation who gave Phan some fantastic recommendations: “Cook effectively for the consumer. Never think about the money, but make sure the purchaser has a great eating encounter so the consumer will arrive back.”
And I shall.
3000 Annandale Rd, Falls Church 22042, ph. 703-345-1103, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday by way of Saturday. Closed on Sunday.