Sometimes terrific to-go fare needs to be given its due. "Usually I don't report on take-away meals since they can suffer from packaging and travel," oniontears says in a revived thread on Tay Ho, a popular Vietnamese restaurant in Oakland, "but I was compelled to give the banh cuon a shouted WOW."
At Tay Ho, banh cuon—soft rice flour sheets stuffed with meat and mushrooms—are expertly packed for home enjoyment, with the wet and crispy elements kept separate to preserve both texture and taste. oniontears ordered lunch item number 10, the house special banh cuon dac biet, where wood ear mushrooms, dry fried ground shrimp, and pork were wrapped in a house-made rice flour sheet. Also included in the to-go bag were pan-fried cha lua (or pork loaf), crispy shallots, and shredded sweet potato fritters.
The sauces that accompanied the dish also deserve a shout-out. The nuoc cham was "not too sweet or salty" and the house-made chile sauce, "redolent with fresh ground chili flavor," was so good that oniontears saved the remainder to use later.
Tay Ho [East Bay]
344 12th Street, Oakland