Cheap Eats 2015: Rice Paper

Where we go for our favorite clay-pot casseroles.
Cheap Eats 2015: Rice Paper
Smoky, beef-filled grape leaves are among the good dishes at Rice Paper. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

A good Vietnamese meal is all about what might be called a unity of opposites. Deep, funky flavors are offset with mint and basil. The smoky char of grilled meats is leavened by tangy pickles. And proportion is everything—even if you’re eating rich preparations of pork, you’re ingesting only a small amount at a time, using lettuce leaves to bundle it into wraps. This always-slammed Eden Center restaurant is conversant in all the dominant regional styles and exhibits a broad mastery, whether with the vivid salads, the hearty noodle bowls, or the clay-pot casseroles (most memorably, a bubbling vessel of pork in peppery caramel sauce).

Cuisine: Vietnamese

Where you can get it: 6775 Wilson Blvd., 703-538-3888

Also good: Beef-stuffed grape leaves; thrice-cooked chicken with coconut rice; bun cha, grilled pork and pork meatballs in a sweet sauce; fried “rocket” shrimp.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.