Bun Gio Chay at Vietnam Cafe

tofu spring roll

I eat at Vietnam Cafe at least twice a month, and I’m always so hungry and excited when the food comes that I forget to take a picture before my meal is half-devoured. I stopped in for a University City dining days preview (3 courses, $15, July 23-30) and finally remembered to photograph before shoving everything into my mouth. Above, the Goi Cuon Chay, un-fried spring rolls filled with lightly fried tofu, lettuce, bean sprouts, fresh basil, and a beautiful green onion garnish. I particularly loved the green onion place right in the center of the roll, and the sauce was just lovely.

crispy vegetarian spring roll vermacelli

It’s hard for me NOT to order Bun Gio Chay – rice vermicelli noodles topped with crispy fried spring rolls, shredded lettuce, carrots, sprouts, and special vegetarian nuac mam sauce. It’s my classic dish, and if I haven’t had an appetizer I sometimes even add tofu to it. I should only ever eat half. And I always eat the whole thing, doused in a healthy amount of hot chili oil that, by now, they just put on the table as soon as I arrive. Now that’s neighborhood service.

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