BAM! We have finally found it. What? What have we found? Only the first vaguely authentic Vietnamese food that I have had anywhere in the U.S. And where is this place? East New Orleans, Louisiana…jaaa!!
Yes, we have ventured way east of The French Quarter to a town that is actually called East New Orleans, and out here is a place called Dong Phuong where they make top-notch pho bo, bun bo hue, banh mi–with their own authentically baked bread and rolls almost exactly like the ones we love in Hanoi–crispy spring rolls, and lots of other things that any hungry person would love…especially a hungry person who digs Vietnamese food.
There is a sizeable thriving community of Vietnamese people out here who have built this complex with a restaurant in the front and a bakery in the back, and it is like we are actually in Vietnam as we hang out here. The place is packed. . .we see other Vietnamese people, farmers, power company workers, house painters, white collar business people, plus interlopers like us. . .all of us here for the same reason: we want a good bowl of noodle soup and a tasty sandwich as we ring in the new year, and this place serves up the best Vietnamese versions of both that I have ever had in the U.S., period. C’mon out here and check it out for yourself some time. . .you will love it–I gar-ron-taaaayy!!
So, when people ask me where to get good Vietnamese food, from now on I am going to answer “East New Orleans, Louisiana.”
I send you real-deal Vietnamese vibes from East New Orleans. . .feel them. . .they will make you scream “ngon.” (“Ngon” is ‘delicious’ is Vietnamese–cheers!)
It’s lovely out there.