Friday, May 6, 2011

Vietnamese Showdown

I am officially done with school... FOREVER!!!! With all this new free time I've had more freedom to indulge my most common food craving as of late, Vietnamese food of course! As I've mentioned numerous times before, New Orleans is home to some seriously legit Vietnamese Restaurants. However, the best, most authentic spots are a bit out of the city on the West Bank. I often drive over the river to visit these fine establishments, but I recently learned about a noodle house in Harahan, a slightly closer neighborhood. Kim Anh's Noodle House blew my mind. Their Bun was fantastic, Bun is basically a Vietnamese salad made of cold vermicelli noodles, daikon, pickled carrots, cucumber, mint, cilantro, green onion, some sort of meat, and sweet nuoc nom dipping sauce. I got mine with chargrilled pork and shrimp and I could not have been happier.

It was so spectacular that I drove all the way back to Harahan two days later to eat more delicious noodles. This time I got a soup made with pork broth, egg noodles, cilantro, bean sprouts, lime, jalapeno, chicken, beef, and seafood. There may have been too much going on in this one little bowl. I loved the fish balls and crab sticks and broth, but the rest was a little disappointing after how spectacular their Bun was.

Clearly that didn't quench my Vietnamese cravings. After months of hearing rave reviews about9 Roses (aka Hoa Hong 9), a restaurant on the West Bank, I finally had my chance to investigate. Their menu is enormous, I mean absolutely HUGE!!! They have delicacies such as imitation shark fin soup and jellyfish salad. As usual Eric went with the stranger dish.

He got coconut curry eel which was actually really tasty. I had never had eel in any form other than sushi, but I'm definitely a fan. It's a little odd because it really does taste like a fusion of fish and chicken, similar to frog legs.

After my delicious Bun from Kim Anh's I had to see how it compared to 9 Roses and it actually was a very close call. It may be a perfect tie. As a whole dish Kim Anh's was actually victorious, but the 9 Roses chargrilled pork was phenomenal. I'm going to have to go back to 9 Roses soon and try something a little more daring... maybe even the jellyfish!

Hoa Hong 9 (Nine Roses) on Urbanspoon
Kim Anh's Noodle House on Urbanspoon

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