Cheap Eats 2008: Minh’s

Why go: For the vast catalog of dishes from North and South Vietnam executed with authenticity and sophistication in a serene, white-tablecloth setting.

What to get: A sometime special of shredded banana leaves, crisped shallots, and briny clams; yam-and-shrimp cakes; crispy rice crepes filled with pork and shrimp; sizzling catfish with dill and mint; caramelized pork in a clay-pot casserole; grilled pork vermicelli that tastes like great barbecue.

Best for: Diners both familiar with and new to Vietnamese cuisine—most servers are fluent in English and adept at describing dishes.

Insider tip: Forgo the Thai-style mango with sticky rice for the far superior Vietnamese version, which is nutty black sticky rice in a pool of sweet coconut cream.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants 

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.