January 26, 2008
607 Nguyen Kiem Street
Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City
Banh Xeo (25,000 VND for 10)
Bo La Lot (28,000 VND)
“Look for the flames on the left-hand-side of the road,” instructed Zach.
With such spot-on instructions, The Astronomer and I easily located this banh xeo and bo la lot joint in an unfamiliar part of town.
Phu Nhuan District is a good 30 minute ride from District 4, but one bite of their banh xeo, and the long trip is completely worth it.
The banh xeo are made in front of the restaurant in small griddles over large flames. The smoky environs lend a welcomed char to the saffron beauties.
Measuring four inches in diameter, these banh xeo are wonderfully crispy and filled with grilled pork pieces similar to thit nuong, a few bean sprouts, and a smattering of whole mung beans.
Wrapped up in mustard leaves and dipped in nuoc mam, these banh xeo were so so good. Without the help of Zach’s ESL students, we would have never found this place.
The Astronomer and Zach are both very fond of bo la lot—grilled seasoned beef wrapped in betel leaves. The ones made here are grilled out front next to the banh xeo and have a nice ratio of meat to leaves.
Whereas I like to eat bo la lot without adornments, the boys take the time to wrap theirs in lettuce, herbs, and rice paper and dip them in nuoc mam. Either way, they’re a great complement to the banh xeo.