By: Deb Cantrell
Kick off your food tour in Haltom City with an amuse-bouche at the takeout eatery, Vinh Binh. This hole-in-the-wall shop sells a variety of to-go items, from Vietnamese meatballs and sausages to fish cakes and specialty grocery items. But Vinh Binh is most well known for pork eggrolls. At 50 cents each, these savory fried treats are an addictive steal. They can be ordered in bulk, but for $5, the bag of 10 is perfect. Just be sure to bring cash, and a word to the wise: don’t ask for dipping sauce.
5310 E. Belknap St. | 817.222.1219
For your next stop, head to Pho Nam. This family-run restaurant first opened in 1992, and it’s the perfect place to take a newbie. The menu isn’t overwhelmingly large, includes several photos, and the prices are very reasonable. Although you can’t go wrong with any of the pho options and they make a decent bahn mi sandwich, venture off the beaten path by trying something different. The rustic beef stew has hearty chunks of short rib and a rich, silken broth that is the answer to a cold winter day. It’s served with your choice of rice noodles, rice or baguette. Another must-try dish is the grilled pork and rice with fried egg, served over lettuce with cucumber and tomato slices, and sides of fish sauce and pho broth.
4045 E. Belknap St. | 817.834.0780
Then venture into Fort Worth with a visit to My Lan. Another long-time, family-owned restaurant, My Lan offers a diverse menu with more than 100 items to choose from, plus a selection of hot and boba teas as well as Vietnamese coffee. Every regular will recommend a different “favorite” dish to try, but this is a great spot for a bún (vermicelli) bowl. As an added bonus, if you aren’t a fan of vermicelli noodles, most of the same combinations are also offered with “tiny rice sticks” if you prefer. For something a little different, try the bun with grilled pork, egg rolls and bean curd skin stuffed with shrimp.
4015 E. Belknap St. | 817.222.1471
Next door to My Lan is your final destination, Bun Dong Ba Vietnamese Noodle House. Pho fans are sure to enjoy the spicy pho option with a combination of meat and seafood. The broth has just enough heat and an earthy depth of flavor, unlike traditional pho, thanks to the addition of a unique chili blend. Another favorite is the bánh xèo, crispy rice pancakes filled with pork and shrimp. Pieces of the crepes are eaten inside a lettuce wrap with mint and basil and dipped in fish sauce. These “happy pancakes” are quite the treat if you have never tried them.
4023 E. Belknap St. | 817.831.8778
By: Deb Cantrell