Cheap Eats 2011: Huong Viet

This cash-only dining room might look more like a Midwestern beer hall than an Eden Center restaurant, but the kitchen is true to its Vietnamese roots.

It’s especially deft with salads, such as green papaya, lotus root, and rare beef. The shrimp-stuffed bánh xèo crepe, bundled into lettuce wraps with herbs and dunked in fish sauce, makes a good share–most dishes are meant to be eaten that way–and soups, such as a tangy tamarind broth with shrimp, are a nice meal for one.

Look to servers for help with unfamiliar dishes. They’ll readily demonstrate, say, how to make the lime-salt-and-pepper dip that perks up sweetly lacquered roasted quail. To drink, there’s fresh lemonade and a roster of fabulous bubble teas.

Also good: Spring rolls; grilled beef with lemongrass; caramel shrimp; vermicelli bun with spring rolls and grilled pork.

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 Petworth.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.