Cheap Eats 2011: Four Sisters

This grande dame of area Vietnamese restaurants has fans who include top chefs, such as Inn at Little Washington proprietor Patrick O’Connell. Its appeals are many: a color-splashed space, warm service–often from one of the sisters the place was named for–and a remarkably consistent kitchen.

The 149-item menu has many good entry points, but we like to start with the shrimp toast–airy baguette halves slathered in shrimp paste and deep-fried to a crisp –or a round of spring rolls. Then there are caramel clay pots with pork ribs, heaping platters of cold vermicelli with herbs and grilled pork, and shaky beef with a kicky lime-and-pepper dip. The only downside? This is no hidden gem. Waits for tables at prime times and on weekends can be long.

Also good: Clam hash; lotus-root salad; lemongrass chicken; bánh xèo crepe; fresh lime soda.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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