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Marty L.

Bún DC, Vietnamese on Sherman Avenue in Columbia Heights

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Prompted by Tim Carman's partial rave, I checked out this tiny Vietnamese joint on Sherman Avenue.  Ordered the bún riêu with shrimp and squid.  Unfortunately, I can't recommend.  The broth was just bland--no crab and tomato flavor, no funk at all.  The noodles weren't anything notable, and the squid and shrimp were frozen and flavorless.  Doesn't hold a candle to the soups at, e.g., Mi La Cay in Wheaton, esp. the similar M9 (assuming that remains its menu designation).

Also, the soda chanh was meh, at best.

I hope it was simply an off-day--the family who runs it seems very nice, and dedicated.

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7 minutes ago, Marty L. said:

Prompted by Tim Carman's partial rave, I checked out this tiny Vietnamese joint on Sherman Avenue.  Ordered the bún riêu with shrimp and squid.  Unfortunately, I can't recommend.  The broth was just bland--no crab and tomato flavor, no funk at all.  The noodles weren't anything notable, and the squid and shrimp were frozen and flavorless.  Doesn't hold a candle to the soups at, e.g., Mi La Cay in Wheaton, esp. the similar M9 (assuming that remains its menu designation).

Also, the soda chanh was meh, at best.

I hope it was simply an off-day--the family who runs it seems very nice, and dedicated.

The problem is (and I'm certain you know this and were being polite) that the flaws you cited aren't indicative of an "off-day," but something much more fundamental than that.

The upbeat news is that you're no longer Satan. 😋

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10 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

The problem is (and I'm certain you know this and were being polite) that the flaws you cited aren't indicative of an "off-day," but something much more fundamental than that.

The upbeat news is that you're no longer Satan. 😋

I hate posting negative reviews of family joints such as this.  Indeed, not sure I shoulda done so here -- after all, no Rockwellian would spend more than $20 checking it out.

So, perhaps:  Don't feel like Satan but I am to them [?].
 

 

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38 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I saw Neil Young with Jon Karl at GWU awhile back.

(First half - entirely acoustic; second half - entirely electric)

That's Robert Parker's favorite musician.

That 1989 performance -- 29 years ago (yeesh!) -- was one of his best, and one of the best rock performances ever on television (see also, e.g., Elvis 1968 "comeback" special; Leonard Cohen and Sonny Rollins on "Who by Fire?"; Patti Smith singing "Free Money" on the Mike Douglas Show (really!); Bruce on SNL doing "Lucky Town"; Fleetwood Mac "Rhiannon" on Midnight Special; Beasties/Elvis C. on SNL).  Charlie Drayton and Steve Jordan weren't weighed down by a history with him and pushed him farther than his usual intensity!  NY later told how he worked out with a trainer immediately before going onstage to simulate the adrenaline of a concert encore.

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23 hours ago, Marty L. said:

Prompted by Tim Carman's partial rave, I checked out this tiny Vietnamese joint on Sherman Avenue.  Ordered the bún riêu with shrimp and squid.  Unfortunately, I can't recommend.  The broth was just bland--no crab and tomato flavor, no funk at all.  The noodles weren't anything notable, and the squid and shrimp were frozen and flavorless.  Doesn't hold a candle to the soups at, e.g., Mi La Cay in Wheaton, esp. the similar M9 (assuming that remains its menu designation).

Also, the soda chanh was meh, at best.

I hope it was simply an off-day--the family who runs it seems very nice, and dedicated.

The problem is you ordered a soup that is Bun Rieu in name only. Bun Rieu is a crab soup with crab broth. The problem is no Vietnamese restaurants in anywhere all over the US offered Bun Rieu the way it's supposed to be made. What they do instead if making up this weird combo of pork broth and MSG laden crab paste from Thailand and doused it with tomato paste to balance it out.  It's like making bun mam broth and call it Pho.  Sea substitute for land vs land substitute for sea. My suggestion: If the bun rieu costs less than $15, it's not bun rieu. It might seem expensive but then how much would a crab cake served with a side of crab broth, noodles and veggies, herbs should cost?

Authentic Bun rieu also must be served with Vietnamese Balm (kinh gioi). The crab broth and Vietnamese Balm go together beautifully. That's the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. Certain herbs must go together with certain dish. 

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