Food & Drink
FOOD: Eden Center’s Rice Paper [DC]
by Powell Bernhardt
About this time last year, I was in the Bay indulging in Vietnamese at the infamous pop-up Rice Paper Scissors. Like an addict on the hunt, I needed a quick fix. Due to the fact that Chinatown is inundated with Fuddruckers, Starbucks, and other national chains, Washingtonians often trek out to the burbs for authentic Asian eats. So I hopped in the car and headed to Eden Center, the Vietnamese strip mall in Falls Church, VA for some grub. While a shopping center with over 120 shops is a bit overwhelming, I settled on Rice Paper. If selecting a place to eat wasn’t difficult enough, their menu features over 100 items.
Although my palate is adventurous, familiar tastes transport me back to my travels in Southeast Asia. Therefore, I opted to start with the staple spicy green papaya salad and rice paper rolls with pork and peanut sauce. Perfect for this time of year, both dishes are flavorful, light, and refreshing. The heat was perfectly balanced w Saigon, my server’s favorite beer on the menu. For my entree, I settled on Canh Chua Ca hoac Tom, a sweet and sour tamarind based soup with shrimp, okra, pineapple, bean sprouts and tomato. The soup was slightly lighter due to the lack of rice noodles, however, I made up for the carbs with another Saigon. The portions were huge and the broth was complex yet balanced. Overall, my experience was phenom nom nom.
And I had enough for leftovers, which I cooked down to intensify the flavor and added rice noodles, fresh herbs, chicken and a few other goodies too.
6775 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044