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ordering at Nam Phuong


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ordering at Nam Phuong

Allie D'Augustine | Apr 28, 2003 12:01 PM

So, at the behest of a Vietnamese cab driver, I tried Nam Phuong (11th and Washington, Phila.) again last week. The menu is hit and miss, so I was wondering if anyone has ordering suggestions for this place.

I had a mediocre experience there the first time, so it took me a while to make it back. Really good were the roast quail on the appetizer menu; we had one of the fried noodle dishes which was good. Something else, which I forget, wasn't great. I wouldn't go there for pho, either, but that's ok since my favorite, Pho 75, is right next door.

On my second visit, I looked at the menu more carefully -- I realized that the menu is extremely long and they have a lot of Chinese dishes. The only problem is, I don't always know what the *authentic* Vietnamese dishes are. I ordered beef stew with rice noodles, knowing that was likely to be authentic -- and it was STELLAR. Somewhat fatty but flavorful chunks of beef in a nice gravy over the same kind of rice noodles that are found in pho. I added hot sauce and some fish sauce to mine. We also ordered spring rolls, which were good but kinda dull. (They're never my favorite.) But we ordered a tofu curry dish off the vegetarian menu that was AWFUL -- well-nigh inedible. The tofu was chewy and spongy and tough, and the curry sauce was made of generic yellow curry powder. We had a thick rice noodle dish with seafood that was just okay (the noodles were like chow fun noodles and the seafood was cooked just right, but the sauce seemed to be made of not much more than cornstarch and water). The beef stew dish made it all worth it and it's definitely enough for me when I go by myself, but I don't know what else to order.

I know some other people on the board have been here, so I was wondering what your hits and misses have been?


PS The staff there are nice and despite having a well-stocked bar (which we didn't know before we arrived) they let us drink our own beer. The people next to us brought their own wine. So I wouldn't say it's BYO but if you have something special you can prob. get away with it; just leave a nice tip. :)

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