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Huong Viet, Vietnamese in Falls Church - The Oldest Restaurant in Eden Center

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Huong Viet is better than Four Sisters, you wouldn't be going for the service or the atmosphere. It's divey but delicious. Love the lotus root salad with pork and shrimp, their caramel fish and some of the noodle soups.

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Huong Viet is better than Four Sisters, you wouldn't be going for the service or the atmosphere. It's divey but delicious. Love the lotus root salad with pork and shrimp, their caramel fish and some of the noodle soups.

Yup, on the Eden "exterior," the top choices are Huong Viet (remarkably consistent after all these years) and the new Tay Do. There are some gems in the "interior," as well -- not only for sit-down meals (e.g., Nha Trang, for rolls of ground pork wrapped in rice paper, minced crab soup, and roast quail), but also for, e.g., banh mi (e.g., Nhu Lan, at 6763 Wilson Blvd., #14). There's a lot of turnover inside, though, and not a lot of reliable reports on the web in English, so the interior can be hit-or-miss.

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Where does that leave me in terms of recommending a great Vietnamese restaurant to people? I'm open for suggestions, because right now I have none.

I recommend Viet Huong - also in the Eden Center. It was recommended by Vietnamese diplomats and it is quite wonderful. Spring rolls, lotus salad with shrimp and pork (unusual to find), folded over crepe-like dish are all exceptional and truly, we have loved everything we have ordered. As an aside, they only take cash. Hope you too find it good. By the way - these same people felt that Four Sisters was commercial and not up to snuff.

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Huong Viet is better than Four Sisters, you wouldn't be going for the service or the atmosphere. It's divey but delicious. Love the lotus root salad with pork and shrimp, their caramel fish and some of the noodle soups.

We were reminded this weekend how much we love Huong Viet. The cha gio were the Platonic ideal of cha gio; crispy on the outside, thoroughly cooked on the inside with a stuffing that wasn't too firm or too mushy. We tried a new appetizer on the menu which was a variant on the garden roll made with a "pork paste." The pork paste turned out to be a moderately peppery slice of pork pate, and the rolls were nicely set off with long strips of Chinese chives. We're big fans of their lotus root salad but it was just too cold outside to contemplate one yesterday.

Entrees consisted of :

- perfectly grilled lemongrass pork atop rice noodles, smothered in scallions and fried shallots

- caramel fish, with the fillets a bit thicker than most places. Naomi is a huge caramel fish fan and said this was the best ever.

- squid sauteed with sweet leeks and bean sprouts. The "sweet leeks" were small; I think they were an Asian relative rather than baby versions of our more familiar supermarket variety. I would have loved a little more leek in the dish, but the flavors and textures worked well together.

We arrived around 11:15 am and were seated immediately; by the time we left about 45 minutes later, the place was full and people were waiting.

It's cash only, but that is always a good assumption for the Eden Center.

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I recommend Viet Huong - also in the Eden Center. It was recommended by Vietnamese diplomats and it is quite wonderful. Spring rolls, lotus salad with shrimp and pork (unusual to find), folded over crepe-like dish are all exceptional and truly, we have loved everything we have ordered. As an aside, they only take cash. Hope you too find it good. By the way - these same people felt that Four Sisters was commercial and not up to snuff.

I agree about Viet Huong. I've been there on several occasions and had the spring rolls and the Pho and really enjoyed it.

This weekend we tried the Special Hue Spicy Soup and the Caramel Jumbo Shrimp with Rice. They were both great, especially the Shrimp. Only the shredded pork rolls disappointed us, but that was probably because we didn't really know what they were and were surprised that they were served cold.

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Another stellar, quick lunch at Huong Viet yesterday.

Beef underdone with lime followed by squid sauteed with sweet leeks and bean sprouts. Righteously fresh ingredients, masterful preparation, exceptional balance of flavor and textures for both. Service was quick and efficient, surprising given the high volume of patrons around 1:00.

With herbs, sprouts, onions, and other produce in peak season, it's prime time to hit this no-frills, cash-only Eden of Eden Center.

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It's been a few years since anyone posted, but I wanted to mention that Huong Viet is still cranking out remarkably good food. The spouse has a cold and has been craving hot and spicy soups -- we've been out for Korean soups most days this week. Amid yesterday's rain, he had the Hue spicy beef noodle soup, which had some split pig feet in the generous bowl. I had the lotus root salad, and was immediately reminded why Huong Viet makes my favorite version of this dish. It's the mint leaves that bring it to a special level of wonderfulness. And of course, the cha gio were without flaw, sliced on a diagonal for a more elegant presentation.

On a past visit a few months ago, we tried the mussel special (still on the menu), non-spicy version, and were impressed by the quality of the mussels. These were giant, plump, sweet mussels, the kind you always want to get and so seldom receive.

Cash only, as always.

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I've only eaten at 4 or 5 of the dining choices in Eden Center so far, so I'm certainly no expert, but I will say that a recent meal at Huong Viet was far superior to anything Vietnamese that I can get in NYC.

Even starting with something as mundane as spring rolls was a revelation...

post-6410-0-76649000-1299936886_thumb.jp

And then the quail were, well, as good as any quail I've had...

post-6410-0-09386500-1299936907_thumb.jp

We moved on to soups (no pics) and once again were cursing their relatives in NYC. Nothing comes close.

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Had 2 lunches here in 2 weeks. As noted above, the place is cash only and they don't give you receipts unless you ask. And if you ask, you get a register tape with no name on it and no itemized list of dishes ordered - just a string of numbers.

The first time (not a Monday) we ordered grilled lemon grass chicken, beef with Chinese broccoli, and deep fried salted fish with lemon-grass and chilies. Grilled lemon grass chicken isn't something I would normally order, since it's generally sweet. These chunks of chicken were tender dark meat and sweet as expected. I wasn't sure what the salted fish would be. I would have thought they were preserved salted fish but they tasted like fresh fried fish. In any case, they were really good, especially when the price is fixed as opposed to "seasonal." The beef and broccoli were delicious - I loved the slightly crispy Chinese broccoli.

Today (a Monday) was the second time. We ordered the beef with Chinese broccoli again, crispy fish fillet with tomato sauce, bok choy with king oyster mushrooms, salty fried squid with jalapeños, caramelized shrimp with lemon-grass and chilies, caramelized chicken with ginger and chilies, and shrimp and jellyfish salad. First, all the seafood were overcooked. The shrimp were hardly touched. Half a plate of fish was left because the fish were just fried fillets with no seasoning and the tomato sauce on the side were also very bland. The squid were nicely seasoned but tough from being overcooked. The sauteed bok choy was good, as was beef and broccoli. The shrimp and jellyfish was pretty good, an interesting combination of shrimp, jellyfish, sliced pork, and veggies tossed with fish sauce? I didn't get much of the chicken but my fellow diners loved it.

I like this place more than Four Sisters and Present because of its varied menu. Cooking wise, I think it's better than Four Sisters and about the same as Present.

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It is rare when a thread has multiple posts over the course of several years without a single negative comment, but Huong Viet fits the bill. Any recent experiences confirming the above glowing recommendations, or to the contrary?

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First, all the seafood were overcooked. The shrimp were hardly touched. Half a plate of fish was left because the fish were just fried fillets with no seasoning and the tomato sauce on the side were also very bland. The squid were nicely seasoned but tough from being overcooked.

It is rare when a thread has multiple posts over the course of several years without a single negative comment, but Huong Viet fits the bill. Any recent experiences confirming the above glowing recommendations, or to the contrary?

Thought Ericandblueboy's comments on the overcooked seafood sounded kinda negative. That said, I've not been to Huong Viet recently, with my last visit to the area being to Rice Paper.

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It is rare when a thread has multiple posts over the course of several years without a single negative comment, but Huong Viet fits the bill. Any recent experiences confirming the above glowing recommendations, or to the contrary?

We visited Huong Viet with a fellow chow-family a few weeks ago as our pre-Post Hunt early lunch. We overordered a bit, but had a top-notch meal. Their cha gio remain our standard for what cha gio should be--crisp outside, fully cooked insides, neither too mushy nor firm--my raves from a few years ago still hold true. The grilled pork over vermicelli features intensely marinated meat grilled to moist perfection. We also enjoyed lotus root salad and the caramel fish. The caramel fish may have been just a touch too sweet.

I had a group dinner at the very highly rated Slanted Door in San Francisco a few months ago. About half the dishes we ordered were classic Vietnamese dishes, and for every one of those, Huong Viet kicked the Slanted Door's high end rump, at a fraction of the price.

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I had to rent a car for the weekend so with a few hours left on the rental, the boyfriend and I headed to Eden Center for lunch and some grocery shopping. I haven't tried as many places at Eden Center as I would like, but that is because Huong Viet so so tasty and consistent.

The boyfriend and I started with the pork and shrimp salad which was ordered out of necessity because he was hung over and I had gorged on Korean BBQ the night before. The salad was light and refreshing with cucumbers, carrots, some cabbage, daikon, peanuts, and basil. The pork was thinly sliced and didn't add much to the salad while the shrimp was a nice addition but nothing to write home about. My boyfriend ordered a bowl of the bun bo hue which he really enjoyed. I had a few bites and thought it was fantastic and one of the best versions I have ever had. The only thing missing was some congealed pork blood, not that either of us minded its absence.  :P I would definitely order this next time. For myself, I ordered a plate of broken rice with grilled pork, shredded pork, and pork meatloaf. This is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes ever and I really like Huong Viet's version of it. The rice was a little on the dry side, but nothing a good dose of nuoc cham couldn't fix. My boyfriend and I also ordered a plate of Chinese broccoli and shiitake mushrooms to split. While good, this remained mostly untouched because we were not as hungry as we thought we were. My boyfriend packed this to take home and eat later. I enjoyed this lunch with a nice glass of Vietnamese iced coffee, strong and with perfect proportions of espresso and condensed milk.

Though I'm sure there are other great options to be had in the Eden Center, it's hard for me to not go to Huong Viet since my trips out that way are way too infrequent.

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Was here last weekend. My favorite dish was their folded over crepe. We got the vegetarian version, with marinated sprouts, carrots, and lettuce packed into a folded over, crispy but thick crepe. It came with lime, peppers, basil, and dipping sauce on the side. The entire thing was huge and I had no idea how to eat it (fork and knife? tear it apart with my hands), but I literally couldn't stop until I finished the whole thing (I ended up tearing off pieces using chopsticks). We also had a pork rib soup and a combination fried rice dish that were good in a home cooking kind of way. Everything was a ridiculous portion for its cost. My girlfriend noted that when she was there another time, she had a great hot pot dish. On a cold night, Huong Viet and Rice Paper were packed out the door, while the other restaurants along the same row had plenty of empty seats.

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Of the five dishes we ordered, the Bun Bo Hue was actually the most disappointing.  The noodles were chewy in a good way and the meat wasn't too overdone, but wow the broth completely underwhelmed.  Spicy with no depth or richness whatsoever.  So, so watery.  Ugh.

On the bright side, everything else was a hit.  The Cha Gio may have spent a few seconds too many in the fryer but our son still loved them.  The quail was worth the effort to dig out every tiny morsel of meat.  The Bun Thit Nuong was actually a quite refreshing palate cleanser on bites with less pork.  The big winner, perhaps somewhat surprising, was the caramelized fish in hot pot.  We ordered it mostly because our son will eat anything with fish, but everyone ended up trying some and fighting over who would get the leftovers.

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3 minutes ago, silentbob said:

The quail was worth the effort to dig out every tiny morsel of meat. 

As a side note, I've heard directly from high-level chefs that quail is almost always a good thing to order, as it tends to be a low-markup item for restaurants (and really, when's the last time you've had bad quail?) [Don't say 1988, Al Dente.] 

Was this served with that salt-like dipping powder?

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Just now, DonRocks said:

As a side note, I've heard directly from high-level chefs that quail is almost always a good thing to order, as it tends to be a low-markup item for restaurants (and really, when's the last time you've had bad quail?)

Was this served with that salt-like dipping powder?

Yes -- salt and pepper mix with a wedge of lemon.

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On 1/16/2017 at 2:50 PM, DonRocks said:

Lemon, or lime?

My dining companions confirmed that it was a lemon.  And surprisingly, our plate of sprouts and Thai basil with the Bun Bo Hue did not come with any lime.

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Wow, 2+ years since anyone last mentioned this stalwart of the Eden Center!  Today we picked up my son's college apartment mate at Union Station and brought them to Huong Viet en route to our home in Herndon.  Our son has been vocal in his displeasure with the quality of food at Rochester Institute of Technology (on-campus and delivery) and after a meal at Huong Viet,  his apartment mate now "gets" why Isaac has been so critical.  One bite of their cha gio is pretty much all it took.  We ordered cha gio, the chopped baby clam appetizer, and split the big mixed grill platter (grilled shrimp, chicken, beef, pork, noodles, and greens for wrapping) two ways while my husband had the yellow noodle duck soup.  My only complaint is that I think someone forgot to add the sugar syrup to my salty lemon drink so it was a bit too salty for me.   

This is a restaurant that doesn't coast on its reputation.  It cranks out good to stellar Vietnamese food from a huge menu.  It's also the reason I was so unimpressed by the Slanted Door in San Francisco back when Slanted Door was one of the top rated restaurants in that city.  Every traditional Vietnamese dish I had at Slanted Door was better and cheaper at Huong Viet.  

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Love it. On a slammed Sunday afternoon, there were a few hiccups like the water being too cool in the rice paper contraption, but the food still was very god.  Good but not great Boba. The flavors are very good, the boba slightly chewy and sometimes frozen. This is dangerously close to our soon to be abode. I hope they have a frequent flyers program.

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While I love it. I don't love just paying cash and that weird feeling I get when I think something...odd is going on. Isitjustme?

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On 11/24/2019 at 3:26 PM, NolaCaine said:

While I love it. I don't love just paying cash and that weird feeling I get when I think something...odd is going on. Isitjustme?

Not accepting credit cards keeps prices lower...at least in theory.  YMMV.

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Cash is king.  When I lived in Montgomery County, the flashiest neighbors all owned dry cleaners.. Cash businesses

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