The place is called, fittingly, Eden Center — a Vietnamese-American shopping center with around 120 stores and over 30 restaurants. I’ve never seen so many Vietnamese restaurants packed into one area. For a Vietnamese food-deprived soul from New York state, Eden Center is something of a miracle.
I hadn’t planned on eating during this visit. Wasn’t even hungry — I’d just come from lunch with my aunt and cousin’s family, and stopped by Eden Center solely with the intention to grocery shop at its supermarket, Cho Saigon — which, was closed for renovations. I started wandering around noticing restaurant after restaurant, each seemingly with a picture in the window of vermicelli, pho or banh mi.
Like this one:
Kids were also strolling out of bakeries holding bubble teas.
And what do ya know… the appetite kicked in. I think my stomach’s exact words were, Let’s do this.
I don’t even remember exactly which shop I walked into. May have been this one.
I left with a mango bubble tea.
And a grilled pork banh mi, which cost all of $3.
All those restaurants hawking banh mi sandwiches for $7 or $8 should be ashamed of themselves. This is how it’s done. Super-crusty baguette, succulent grilled pork, crunchy pickled radish and carrot, a smear of mayo, and a smattering of jalapenos and pungent cilantro.
So that was lunch #2, the lunch after lunch. Apparently stomachs have separate compartments for dessert, and separate compartments for banh mi and bubble tea.
6751 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA