Vietnam: A Short Drive to Hanoi

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credit to edencenter.com

There is a magical place right outside of DC that transports you to directly to an indoor Vietnamese market, straight out of Ho Chi Minh. (OK, I’ve never been but I did Google photos – and it looks amazing). This special place is called Eden Center. It’s a strip mall/indoor market made up of more than 100 stores in Falls Church.

Matt and I passed by Eden Center one day when we were on one suburban adventure or another and  could not figure out what it is was. After some quick internet sleuthing we knew it would be where we would enjoy our Vietnamese cuisine.

It would be a few months before we made it back out to Falls Church when we decided last minute to buy Foo Fighters Tickets from someone. On our drive out there we debated dinner options but once we realized Eden Center was close by, the decision was made.

This is the part of the blog post where we would normally transition into how great the food was but hold you’re excitement. The night that we decided to drive out to Fall Church was also the night that that crazy storm had this happen near the Nats game:

We made finally made it to Eden Center and this was our view.

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My photo doesn’t do this storm justice. Needless to say, we weren’t getting out of the car for some time. There was a slight let up in the rain, so we made a run for it to Huong Viet. I’m going to be honest, the food was OK. We started with a small bowl of Pho and Bi Cuon (shredded pork rolls).  For entrees we had  Bo Luc Lac and Bun Thit Nuong.

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On top is the Bi Cuon (shredded pork rollls).   On bottom is the Pho Nho
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Bo Luc Lac (Marinated beef w/ peppers & onions)
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Bun Thit Nuong (Rice vermicelli with grilled pork)

The really remarkable part of our adventure to Eden Center came after our dinner. We walked around the center and checked out the other shops and stopped in a few pastry shops in search of a dessert and some infamous beef jerky.

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We found a dessert and the beef jerky in as tiny shop called Huong Binh. The dessert we chose was che, a pudding made with tapioca beans. Our che was made with chunks of bananas. After getting past the texture, the flavor was enjoyable. We couldn’t finish the cup though, it was a little too sweet.

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The jerky was recommended in Serious Eats post about Eden Center. Of course Matt had to find the jerky. The jerky was sold in a plastic clam shell that we didn’t open until we got home. The jerky was great. We picked the Chinese 5 Spice flavor. Matt thought it was a little sweet at first but after a few more pieces over the rest of the week, we both loved the fresh jerky. It’s worth heading back to Eden Center just for the jerky.

-Bridget

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