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Monday, June 22, 2009

.: Mekong Delta in Baltimore City :.

Mekong Delta on Urbanspoon

i can't begin to say just how excited i was when Mekong Delta opened a few months ago. my cousin Mao told me about it. it's definitely closer to home, better than that abysmal Baltimore Pho (which i will not link to because they suck ass) and most importantly, it reminds me of home. as in, my mom's home. nevermind Pho #1, which has been declining in points with me lately, this place has the simple un-pretentious feel of a beloved aunt/uncle's house, with cheesy vietnamese music blaring in the back and the heady smokey smell hovering over the kitchen stove -- because the kitchen is in the same room as the dining area. the restaurant is a converted floor of a row house, narrow and long. i imagined the couple (the wife does the cooking and the husband is the waiter and greeter) lived on the top floor. and i was RIGHT! their little son scampers in sometimes, coming in thru the backstair door. how completely quaint.

mekong delta

when Nuria and i showed up on a Wednesday at 6pm, we were the only patrons. there were maybe 8 tables of two. small much? by the time we left at 7:30, the owner had to turn away like five people. it was packed. service was a bit on the slower side, having just one cook does that. but the owner was so pleasant and really, we were in no rush. i noticed one table had ordered a bowl of hu tieu and it was actually served with the proper clear noodles (unlike some establishments that serve it with banh pho...) the menu had the basics: various versions of goi cuon, pho, hu thieu, grilled meat and rice. essentially, stuff my mom would make on a random day. LOVE IT.

we started off with a goi cuon because they were out of cha gio. it was good, but then again, how does one eff up a summer roll? i chose the bánh xèo while Nuria went with the bun thit nuong cha gio. my bánh xèo came out much thicker than i liked, plus, it was filled to the brim with bean sprouts. And, rather than pork and squid, it had chicken, which honestly, i thought was odd. It served with just one leaf of lettuce. i like to roll my bánh xèo in lettuce with some herbs and dip in the fish sauce. nuria liked her dish a lot.

Mekong Delta 2

i have since been back, with jason and my aunt and uncle where in the city for a day. as always, the service was pleasant, the restaurant filled up rather quickly for a random week night and jason actually liked it too. i'll still hit up Pho #1 but Mekong Delta will be my go-to place in the city. now, i wonder if i can convinced them to make banh mi...

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