100 Best Restaurants 2011: Minh's
Comments () | Published January 20, 2011
Cheap Eats (2010) 100 Best Restaurants (2011) Cheap Eats 2011 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Address: 2500 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: 703-525-2828
Neighborhood: Arlington, Clarendon/Courthouse, Arlington
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Opening Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday 11 to 10, Friday and Saturday 11 to 11, Sunday 11 to 10.
Nearby Metro Stops: Court House, Clarendon
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Pork vermicelli, both northern (saltier) and southern (sweeter); banh xeo; fried shrimp-and-yam patties; dill-laced catfish, to be broken into hunks and folded into giant leaves of lettuce; a clay pot of sweet/peppery caramel sauce and bits of catfish; ch

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

For diners new to Vietnamese food, a trip to this gem of a restaurant offers an excellent précis of the vividness and complexity in one of the world’s great cuisines. But even those accustomed to the flavors are likely to experience a jolt or two because the cooking at Anh Nguyen’s place is more intense—brighter, smokier—than that of its many competitors.

The marvelous bun cha, a noodle bowl with grilled pork, is juicy and irresistible. Look for the dishes meant to be bundled into leaves of fresh lettuce, then dipped in the tangy nuoc mam, a nicely balanced sauce of fermented fish, vinegar, and chilies. Shrimp-and-yam fritters are one such dish, and they’re a must-order.

Forgo the Western-style desserts in favor of the superb Vietnamese coffee, brewed on the premises and served hot or over ice.

Also good: Crispy half-moon crepe, to be broken and folded into lettuce leaves; bun thit nuong, Southern-style grilled pork with vermicelli; caramel chicken or fish; grilled, lemongrass-flavored short ribs.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/20/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews