I discovered Minh’s pretty quickly after moving to DC. You see, I have this thing for rice paper summer rolls and peanut sauce. I love them, and I want them at least once a month. Back where I come from (cue the country song), there is this amazing Vietnamese restaurant called Lang Van’s, owned by a friend’s family. I was upset to leave Lang Van’s, so I quickly searched out a substitute. Minh’s certainly lives up.
With one of the largest menus I’ve ever seen (trumped only by Cheesecake Factory) you pretty much can’t go wrong at Minh’s. Located between Court House and Clarendon out in Virginia (where arguably all the good Asian food hides) Mihn’s is situated on Wilson Boulevard in a nondescript office building. I’ve had friends tell me that they’ve ridden past it a million times, never noticing it. I wonder how that could be, seeing as there are huge neon signs in the window, but that’s just me. (Hey, I never claimed Minh’s was trendy, or sleek, or chic!) The outward appearance isn’t the fabulous part of Minh’s, the food is.
Minh’s is first and foremost delicious, but shockingly affordable is a close second. I wrote it up first for a Thrifty District I did comparing expensive DC eateries to their cheaper and equally delicious counterparts I called Dine Like A Congressman on an Aide’s Budget. I said it was the cheaper TenPenh, which I’ll stand by to this day. I’d also say it’s a tasty alternative to the more popular Cafe Asia. Entrees run you about $10 – $15.
Now the menu is huge, but you could just pin it on the wall and throw a dart and hit something nom-tastic. I’d say you should do that, actually, cause it’s fun to try all the things on the menu. But I tend to get stuck on one particular item, #29, Grilled pork and chopped spring rolls with mixed lettuce and cucumbers served over vermicelli noodles with a fish sauce. OH MAI GAWD. So so delicious. My friend Rebecca swears they put crack in it cause she craves it so much.
The thing that I love about Vietnamese food is that it’s pretty healthy. They’re not frying everything right and left (you can get that if you want though) they utilize fresh ingredients and the grill when appropriate. That’s another reason to love the summer roll – all the benefits of the spring roll, minus the fried fat. Perfection!
The service at Minh’s is super slow, so don’t expect to go if you’re in a rush and get out of there in an hour. It’s not like that. It’s “we’ll get you your food when we’re darn well ready”. (But it’ll be worth it when you do.) It’s great for a leisurely date with someone you’re positive you like and don’t mind spending an hour and a half eating food. Or if you’ve got a night to kill. It’s especially great for parents, cause you can show them “ethnic food” from “the big city”. The patio is also fantastic for having after-work beers and relaxing in the sun and watching Clarendon go by.
Minh’s is located at 2500 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, VA. Closest Metro stop: Court House Station (Orange line). For more information, call (703) 525-2828.