Pho Ban Mai revisit
Dennis and I keep finding ourselves revisiting Pho Ban Mai when craving local Vietnamese food... or when we are in the mood for these:
Buttered Chicken Wings (8.99). These remind us of Dennis's family's butter chicken wings, which we only get for the holidays! So now we don't have to wait that long or make a big mess frying things at home! They are well salted, have a thinner yet crispy batter and are juicy and moist inside! I even got my brother and his girlfriend addicted after introducing it to them once.
We also like to order the specialty spring rolls here: Nem Nuong x 4 (6.99). The price is really good for these, $1.50 for pork meat and $2 for shrimp meat. Earlier in January, I went to a restaurant that was selling spring rolls for $3 each! Too much!
Here's the cross section: shrimp is on the left and pork is on the right. I also love how spring rolls and other Vietnamese dishes tend to have veggies. It's one of the healthiest cuisines out there and great for new years resolutions.
Their version of Banh Xeo (7.99) works great for me too. That's a "Vietnamese pizza" as my mom called it!
Here's what it looks like on the inside. They cook the meat and onions, add the batter, stuff it with bean sprouts, then fold it in half like an omlette! I asked for bean sprouts on the side since I don't like them.
This is how I was taught to eat it: break off a piece, wrap it in lettuce, then dip in the fish sauce. So good that I wish I had some now.
I also tried the Eggplant and Tofu (7.95) dish here and really love the flavor of the sauce with the eggplant. I wish I knew how to make this dish! One thing I didn't like as much was that some of the eggplant skin pieces were still attached and on the chewier side. I feel like it should all be soft.
Dennis also tried out the large bowl of Pho Dac Biet (7.50), the special pho which is the one that comes with everything, including tendon, tripe, etc. Tastewise it's decent but we were amazed on how much meat came in this dish too, at least for a pho dish!
I also tried the Hu Thieu (7.95) rice noodle dish and really enjoy the vietnamese style gravy. I think it's been a while too so I was digging into all the saucy broccoli bits!
I'll probably try the bun thit nuong cha gia (rice noodle with bbq pork and eggroll) next time. I'm sure there are plenty of other tasty options based on what you like. Pho Ban Mai is super busy on the weekends, but the wait is never that long. It's a nice spot for good comfort Vietnamese food!
Pho Ban Mai
8991 Mira Mesa Boulevard
San Diego CA 92126