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Pho-nomenal

March 30, 2016 8:45 AM
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New Orleans’ culinary fabric may be interwoven with Creole and Cajun flavors, but Vietnamese cuisine also remains at the heart of the city’s foodscape. As locals use steaming bowls of pho as delicious cure-alls and extinguish cravings by biting into beloved banh mi po’boys assembled on Dong Phuong French bread, the cultural impact of Vietnamese cooking is ever-present in our city.

Check out our favorite spots for both classic and contemporary Vietnamese fare.

Pho Cam Ly (3814 Magazine St.)
The uptown eatery’s moniker comes from the Cam Ly waterfall located outside of Da Lat, Vietnam. Bring a group for Sunday brunch and share orders of spring rolls, like the fried tofu and avocado rolls. In hopes of earning a spot on the restaurant’s hall of fame, ravenous competitors can attempt the pho challenge. For bragging rights, contestants must finish a mammoth bowl of homemade soup featuring 2 pounds of meat and 2 pounds of noodles in an hour.

The cultural impact of Vietnamese cooking is ever-present in our city.

Nine Roses (1100 Stephens St., Gretna)
Known for its gargantuan menu and generous portions, Nine Roses serves up popular staples alongside more unusual selections, like the crabmeat and shark’s fin soup or rice cakes paired with chargrilled shrimp paste–wrapped sugarcane.

Ba Chi Canteen (7900 Maple St.)
Helmed by the owners of the revered Gretna destination Tan Dinh, Ba Chi’s contemporary menu spotlights a fresh version of Vietnamese tacos. Known as “bacos,” the creations are pillowy buns stuffed with delectable combinations like tamarind shrimp with pickled chili mango and coconut curry chicken with basil aioli.

Mopho (514 City Park Ave.)
This Mid City spot serves as an intersection where Vietnamese flavors meet Southern comfort favorites. Patrons can dig into specials like the glazed pork belly bowl (which combines succulent slow-roasted pork shoulder, cracklins and satsuma preserves), and wash it down with one of Mopho’s boba tea concoctions, like the refreshing Guns+Roses tea flavored with strawberries, oranges and rose water. Every Saturday starting at 11 a.m., Mopho also hosts a pig roast over the restaurant’s outdoor pit.