Vietnam Cafe

Vietnam Cafe - Photo by Ryan Charles

Photo by Ryan Charles

Adam Erace makes it out to West Philadelphia and to Vietnam Cafe where he experiences authentic cuisine in attractive surroundings.

The barbecue platter is a fitting intro to the spicy, citrusy, mint-sprinkled cooking of Vietnam, a carousel of crisp, greaseless pork spring rolls, grilled chicken strips, wonderful nem nuong (spiced pork meatballs) dusted with crushed peanuts, bo nuong la (beef-stuffed grape leaves) and tangled rice vermicelli. Cups of iceberg lettuce and rice paper wrappers encourage the university crowd to get their ssam on, flavoring the bundles with piquant quick-pickled carrot and cucumber, fresh mint, fiery crimson nuoc cham and the “house special”: sweet-and-sour paste made with nuoc mam.

Vietnam Cafe [Philadelphia Weekly]