Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Barrio Foodie: Phu'o'ng Nga Banh Cuon

Last time I made a blog post was 2013, all I can say is that working full time within grey cubicle walls did effectively zap the creativity and the will to blog. Anyhoo, I'm back for now and if all my plans succeed I won't need to go back to an office anymore.

I live in North Park, all along 30th street and Adams Ave, new restaurants and breweries are popping up like mushrooms. In many cases they have supplanted dives, stores and eateries that don't meet with gentrification standards. Business that have been there for decades are being forced out for something new, shinny and pricey. So now I'm turning to the City Heights area where I can get great authentic food at very reasonable prices. For now I will be going to the restaurants on University starting on Malborough Ave.

The first restaurant in my review is Phu'o'ng Nga, located at 4141 University Avenue, zip 92105

Everyone at the restaurant was Vietnamese, which made me feel like the hipster I'm pretending not to be, but can't help it. At least I know my Mexican stomach can take any food.

The menu is extremely simple, has very few options but they all have Banh Cuon as the center and thankfully they had pictures. So I pointed to their combination plate at $6.99 not knowing what I ordered and this is what I got:

First of all, you see that white roll under what looks like fried chicken? That is Banh Cuon, which is a thin rice roll, inside it has minced meat with onions and not sure what else. Very tasty, slightly chewy consistency, topped with fried onions and warm. Has the feeling of comfort food. The plate came with a dozen little rolls. This is something I will have to try again.

What looks like fried chicken is fried pork, a bit greasy and very good. This was the hottest item on the plate and had to wait a bit for it to cool down.

The round patties were not my favorite and was the only thing I left on my plate. The beige ones are meatloaf and the pink one is called nem chua (cured meat), both were at room temperature and they were not bad, just didn't find them to my liking.

The veggies on the side were bean sprouts and thinly julienned cucumber, which was a nice fresh touch to the savory items.

And that's it! I already saw a few more places I want to visit that area. This will be fun!