June is my Birthday month! In celebration, my Vietnamese friends took me to District Một, a Vietnamese hot spot in Astoria. Born and raised, Vietnamese, I was very excited to try this new restaurant and that I had the convenience of simply walking there for my fix for Vietnamese food since it’s in my neighborhood.
Pho was the first thing that came to our mind. But we also ordered a few other dishes to share, try, and compare to our family’s cooking. We are harsh critics for Vietnamese food after all, since we grew up eating the best!
The first dish that we tried was The Grilled Rice Paper.
A crispy, thin rice paper, topped with egg, dried shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, herbs, peanuts and fried shallots. It was like a Vietnamese, Southeast Asian take on a Flatbread Pizza! It was very light, ideal for an appetizer or a snack. Savoriness from the pork and egg contrasted well with the saltiness from the dried shrimp and freshness from the bean sprouts and herbs. Overall, a delicious, lip-smacking dish!
Next, we had the House Made Pork and Chicken Liver Pâté.
Served with pickles and Baguette slices. I was fascinated by the rich, dark pink color of the pâté. I spread it on the Baguette slice and took a bite of it. Absolutely delicious! I’ve had plain pork and chicken liver before, and this pâté did not taste or make me of think of liver at all. Rather than a sweet spread of jam or salty one of peanut butter, I had an incredible, flavorful, savory spread of this pâté.
Curious about the quality and taste of their Bún (Rice Vermicelli Salad), we ordered it with the Hanger Steak.
Topped with julienned carrots and cucumbers, mixed greens, mint leaves, scallions, crushed peanuts and lime juice. Served with Nước chấm (Vietnamese Spicy Dipping Sauce). We poured the sauce into the bowl and mixed everything together. Fantastic, and reminded us of our family’s cooking! The beef was well-seasoned, perfectly cooked and tender. Amazing combination of fresh, sweet, sour, salty, savory, spicy from every ingredient in the bowl.
Last, but not least, we had the Pho.
Rice noodle sticks topped with the aromatic beef broth, bean sprouts, mint leaves, cilantro, scallions, and Round Steak, cooked in the soup. Round of applause. Our mothers would give a “Stamp of Approval.” Fragrant, delicious, warm and comforting – that is how a perfect bowl of Pho should be.
I’m really pleased that I found a place in my neighborhood to relieve my fix for Vietnamese food!
To check out these incredible dishes and more from District Một, check out their website at http://www.districtmot.com. Happy Eating!
All images and content © 2016 Carol Vu, unless otherwise indicated.