Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vietnam Grille (multiple visits)

As I have previously discussed, I love Vietnamese food that screams "Fresh", meaning a la minute cooking with fresh herbs. A new restaurant, Vietnam Grille, 5615 South Blvd., meets and exceeds these standards.

Our first visit was on a Saturday, to a fairly full restaurant. The Charlotte Observer had recently given it 4 1/2 stars and we were excited to try Vietnamese again.

Fresh is the word. Each dish, be it the eggroll apps or the house made soups, came with a small plate of herbs. The baby egg rolls that Vietnam is know for comes with a small plate of whole lettuce leaves and fresh herbs and sauces. The soups come with a plate of herbs and fresh sliced peppers that you can add to taste. The egg rolls are denser that I expect, but everything else we ate, from the fresh spring rolls, to the soup to the bun (a light rice noodle dish) was excellent.

On our second visit we went for lunch on a Wednesday. The crowd was smaller, and chef was sitting in the dining room as the table next to where we were seated. We exchanged pleasantries. Then I asked him to order for us. Best decision I have ever made.

He brought us a grilled meatball appetizer that was great. We got a plate of several meatballs served with dried rice paper wrappers. He showed us how to quickly moisten the wrappers in a bowl of water, add some of the fresh herbs, then wrap it up and eat it with out hands. Lovely.

For main dishes, he brought us a grilled pork on broken rice dish that was outstanding. As he described it, the rice is literally broken into small bits, similar to couscous, that allowed it to easily absorb the sauce that was on the delicious bits of grilled pork.

This is a place to keep on the top of the list.

Vietnam Grille
5615 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28217-4129
(704) 525-2408

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