Can't keep it to myself any longer. NE corner, tucked into a small strip mall housing a...Food City? Some kind of off brand grocer is the anchor anyway.
I'll tell you about the $2 Bahn Mi's in a minute :-)
He makes a decent Pho that's well stocked, and tosses in the meatballs that the place on 43rd (Song Hau) charges extra for.
Don't know how me makes $ on some of his appetizers, but they're great.
Can't remember the name of that yellow crepe thing - the ones that come 2 to an order - but theirs come out one at a time, and have 3 pretty good size shrimp in them. Other places had 1-2 shrimp and they were 1/10th the size.
Hmmm...They make both Boba's (little tapioca balls in frozen whipped fruit drink with big straw) as well as Chobees (same thing but with chewy...coconut type jelled fruit thing - it's great). He has a dozen or more flavors of them (Taro, for instance) that are not on his menu. Go figure. Oh hey: You can order it in a "to go" cup and it's larger/better value. Everyone does it, and he'll suggest it to you more than likely if you don't :-)
And the great $2 sandwich thing: He ("Duke", the co-owner/operator with his wife who cooks, and his children who assist) states he doesn't make anything off them - and further that one of the sandwiches he makes at a loss. He has a huge oven in the back where he bakes his own bread for the sandwiches, and has things like viet meatball, grilled pork, sardines, combination...and about 5 or 6 others I forget. They're all great. He figures if folks come in and try his sandwiches, they'll maybe get a drink...then try his soup...his food, etc. Hope he keeps it up!
Have seen local construction types come in and order a couple of those sandwiches to go. He does it cheerfully and is most gracious.
If it helps, I brought the family in and we grubbed out. A fun thing we like to do is to try to guess how much the bill is based on value, not the "do the math in your head" thing. Comparing him to other local viet haunts I've been to (Song Hau, Little Saigon, Maxim, etc) I underestimate it by 30-40%. It's shocking to us how affordable he is.
In closing, saw my first caucasian ever there (besides my token self) last night. He appeared to have been drug in there by his asian girlfriend & family - and he seemed to like it immensely. Believe I've been the token caucasian at this place until then (snif!).
Hope you enjoy it. Clean bill of health (check 'em out on the web) and come soon - he's only got...9 small tables? I believe. Tiny shop. Enjoy!
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