Friday, January 06, 2006

Pasteur-ized Vietnamese

On Baxter St. in NYC's Chinatown, just off Walker St., there are two really good Vietnamese restaurants: Nha Trang and New Pasteur. A couple of years ago, a friend raved about the crispy squid with garlic at Nha Trang, and I found myself down there that very evening. But alas, Nha Trang was inexplicably closed. So Margy and I tried New Pasteur right next door, and had a vibrant, delicious dinner for like 20 bucks.

I've been back to both places a few times, and I've concluded that you can't really go wrong. Nha Trang is large and has a bit more atmosphere; New Pasteur is no-frills and a little homier. A little cheaper too. But both are quick and tasty.

Tonight Roberto and I went to New Pasteur before checking out some music at the Knitting Factory. These are our appetizers: shredded pork rolls and shrimp rolls. Stuffed with rice vermicelli, lettuce, and bright-tasting herbs like basil and mint, they're cool and refreshing and offer a little snap to the bite. This was the only photo that turned out, and I missed all the dishes of different-colored sauces that accompany the rolls. What can I say -- I'm still a bit timid with the camera in restaurants, and I felt like the staff was watching me like hawks, which made me self-conscious. Silly of me. I was simply capturing a great meal so it could live on in my mind (and in my blog)!

Roberto then had seafood pho, and I had squid with chili and lemongrass. My squid, a good-sized portion, was $4.50.

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