Cheap Eats 2007: Huong Viet

You could make a meal of appetizers at this fast-moving, wood-paneled dining room: a fluffy muffin dotted with shrimp and served with fresh herbs and nuoc mam; a tiny roasted quail to dip in lime, salt, and pepper; a bowl of sweet-and-sour-shrimp soup; crispy fried pork rolls; cool and crunchy lotus-root salad. This is one of the most reliably versatile Eden Center kitchens, and you can experiment across the menu without much worry (just bring cash—the place doesn’t take plastic).

You’ll see everyone from middle-aged men sipping glass mugs of coffee to chattering families spread around the cafeteria tables. Going with a group works well—many of the noodle soups can feed four, and while the chili-tinged caramel fish, buttery frog’s legs, and Saigon-style grilled pork chop are all delicious, their flavors lend more to sharing than eating all on your own.

If there’s a caution, it’s about those dishes that lean toward Chinese cooking: They too often drift into generic brown-sauce territory.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.