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Banh Mi (and related) in Paris...

@PhilD: I'll apologise in advance for being blunt, but implying that Western countries must have better Vietnamese food because they have better standards of living is offensive as well as inaccurate: it reinforces a cliché that everything must be worse in developing countries--which is patently not true.

What the "adopted" country very often *doesn't* have (and what makes food there very different from the "original food") is numerous *fresh* ingredients that are staples of the food (many herbs and fruit from Vietnam are not simply available in France, or take days to reach Paris, by which time they're not fresh anymore). What it does have, however, is pressure to cater to other people beyond the Vietnamese diaspora, which very often means modifying dishes, dropping "odd" items from the menu and/or modifying flavours to appeal to a broader palate (for instance, Vietnamese French food is often blander than in Vietnam and dishes like pork's ears aren't found on the menu. Similarly, Vietnamese-American food is seldom as spicy as it is in Vietnam). For those reasons, you simply do not have the same cuisine in Saigon, New York or in Paris, even if they both call themselves "Vietnamese".

I don't know what you mean with "mature restaurant culture", because there are superlative restaurants in Vietnam, if you know where to look.

Oct 10, 2012
aliettedb in France

Banh Mi (and related) in Paris...

Oh, sorry, yes, it's the bookstore on avenue d'Ivry (the other sandwich shop I was thinking of, Hoa Nam, is outside Tang Frères but facing it. It sells all sorts of snacks and meats including cha lua and xa xiu, but they also have a sandwich shop. I'm not sure which one you mean by "just outside Tang Frères", as there's also one that's just to the left of the entrance to Tang Frères, which I've never tried).
I tend to buy xa xiu at Tang Frères, a bag of carrots and some chilies, and then do my own banh mi with my bakery's fresh bread--it makes for quite a lovely combination...

Oct 07, 2012
aliettedb in France

Banh Mi (and related) in Paris...

Banh mi in Vietnamese = "flour cake", ie bread. It doesn't mean pâté is compulsory. There are many, many recipes.

Oct 07, 2012
aliettedb in France

Banh Mi (and related) in Paris...

Khai Tri on rue d'Ivry in the XIIe arrondissement. Cheap and good (but only at meal times). Also Hoa Nam or any of the joints nearby, but I've only tried those at Khai Tri.
Also, FYI, banh mi just means sandwich in Vietnamese, and paté is not compulsory.

Oct 07, 2012
aliettedb in France

vietnamese food in paris

Those at Comme au Vietnam are very good, though they're more in the format of a Hội An white rose (ie they don't lie flat).

Oct 05, 2012
aliettedb in France

vietnamese food in paris

hahaha, thank you!

Oct 04, 2012
aliettedb in France

vietnamese food in paris

Like many places, Co Tu is nice for some things, and not for others (and I highly suspect most Vietnamese restaurants don't make their nems, the amount of work involved is just too insane...). The two times I've been I found the food good but not extraordinary; I suspect soups are just not their things, but my husband liked his duck dish very much.
Insofar as I know, it's a family-owned and family-run joint though.

(I would, though, reiterate the caution that Vietnamese-American food, Vietnamese-French food and Vietnamese food are related but by no means equivalent)

Oct 04, 2012
aliettedb in France

vietnamese food in paris

You mean anything wrapped in rice paper? (gỏi cuốn is the most famous option, it's salad, shrimp and pork and rice noodles and assorted herbs), but you also have nem nướng (grilled pork) and tôm bò lui (shrimps wrapped in beef), and chạo tôm (shrimp on sugar cane).
Comme au Vietnam 134 rue de Tolbiac, mentioned elsewhere in this thread, serves nem nướng and tôm bò lui. Pho 67, rue Galande, serves chạo tôm (and maybe good gỏi cuốn, but I've never tried them there).
I tend to make my own gỏi cuốn at home so have never eaten them in a restaurant, sorry...

Oct 04, 2012
aliettedb in France

vietnamese food in paris

You're welcome (and you're making me hungry in the morning, too :) )

Jun 02, 2012
aliettedb in France

vietnamese food in paris

That doesn't sound right... Mom gave me their calling card (my memory's been very fuzzy, and I don't have it on me, but it definitely wasn't Délice de Charenton). I know she's been there very recently, like a week ago or so; I also know it's small and somewhat scruffy.
Are you sure this was near the Dugommier metro? (Au Délice de Charenton looks like it's much higher up the street, near number 70 or so, and it also looks like one of those generic Sino-Viet-Thai places that you go to when desperate).
I know Mom eats the bánh cuốn and the phở, and I've had both and liked them very much (their hủ tiếu also smells scrumptious, from watching her eat).

Apr 11, 2012
aliettedb in France

Dining recs in Latin Quarter

Rue Mouffetard is great for restaurants--you have several creperies which serve Breton-style pancakes. They're not awesome-awesome (the best of those in Paris are around Montparnasse, and they're still not the stuff you get in Brittany, but that's a bit far to go with two kids), but they're still pretty good.

There's a good Iranian (I think), near Place de la Contrescarpe. Called Kolbeh. Does very good meat skewers. Nearby is a nice Lebanese takeaway (can't remember the name at the moment, but just walk around the Place and you'll see it).
Nearby, you have a very good Vietnamese, Pho 67, 59 rue Galande (more towards Saint Michel); and a bunch more Vietnamese restaurants near Maubert-Mutualité that are decent if not absolutely great. There's also a small Vietnamese on Place de la Contrescarpe, near the Haagen-Daas, but I haven't tried it.

And I have fond memories of the food at Mirama, 17, rue Saint Jacques (it's a Chinese restaurant, and you should mostly stick to the soups on the menu), but I haven't been there in 15 years, so it's highly possible the cuisine has changed.

It's also been a while, 5 years or so, but I had a good Berbère meal at Les Délices de Kabylie, 28 rue de la Montagne Sainte Genevieve--not sure if it still exists. On the same street at number 9, you have Lhassa, which is a Tibetan restaurant with the cutest decor, and good food (by my standards--I don't really know much about Tibetan food, so beyond enjoying it I can't say more...).

The Latin Quarter is great for bistros, though stuff can be a little expensive due to touristy syndrome. I don't often do those, sorry, because I can have French food at home, so don't have any precise recs.

Feb 29, 2012
aliettedb in France

vietnamese food in paris

You're welcome!

Feb 29, 2012
aliettedb in France

vietnamese food in paris

The best places to eat Vietnamese in Paris are in the XIIIe around Ivry and Choisy, which is the meeting point for Paris' Viet Khieu community--the place we regularly go to get our bowl of pho and our weekly groceries.

Pho 14 is the most popular of the pho joints, even though the queues are so long that it can be discouraging. My mom and I both found the Bamboo overpriced and disappointing: head for "Comme au Vietnam", 134 rue de Tolbiac, where the food is pretty good if you know what to try (skip the banh xeo, which are only so-so, and go for their goi salads, their banh cuon, their pho, their nem nuong and tom bui. Their three colour che is also nice).
Two addresses not in the XIIIe: Pho 67, 59 rue Galande, right between Notre Dame and Saint Michel, makes good pho (obviously), as well as good chao tom. And Aux Délices de Saigon, 213 rue de Charenton, apparently has stupendous food (mom's recommendation. I haven't tried it. I'm told it's very small).

(having glanced at the rest of this thread... just a note that having tried all three--I grew up on French-Vietnamese food, tried a few Viet restaurants when I was in the US, and have gone back to Vietnam a bunch of times--Vietnamese-French food, Vietnamese-American food and Vietnamese food are all different, and sometimes at odds with each other. It's best to think of them like brothers and sisters: there are similarities, but they're not identical. I'm not going to go into a history or anything, but the food in Vietnam now is also different from the one they served in my mother's or grandmother's generation. If you go into a French Vietnamese food joint expecting anything like they serve in San Francisco, you're going to be disappointed, but it doesn't mean it's not authentic)

Feb 28, 2012
aliettedb in France