Dirt Cheap Eats 2007: Thanh Son Tofu

Cafes & Carryouts

Lines start to form at this orange-walled Eden Center storefront in the mornings. One queue is just for the greaseless rectangles of fried tofu, served plain (seven pieces for $1), with mushroom and onion (five for $1), or with chili and lemongrass (three for $1).

The vividly colored sticky rices and tapioca desserts ($2 to $3) deserve attention, too. Spooned into containers, they’re sprinkled with sugar and garnishes: A purple-hued sticky rice studded with mung beans gets dashes of sesame seeds and chopped peanuts; crispy fried green onions add crunch to a pale-yellow pudding dotted with corn. More than a half dozen varieties displayed behind glass are all rib-sticking and comforting—nontraditional yet perfect breakfast fare.

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 Petworth.