Sunday, May 4, 2014

Van Loi II

Hole in the wall restaurants can surprise you. 9 times out of 10, the food is incredible - it's just a matter of taking the chance and trying it out. I've had Van Loi II on my radar since I moved to Greensboro nearly two years ago. I decided to venture for lunch one day, and upon entering the High Point Road spot, your eyes dart towards the hanging BBQ ducks. But don't be afraid - people are ordering them like crazy. And try not to let the dishes that include heart, blood, kidney and feet deter you. This is a terrific secret spot, but not for the weak-stomached.
Clockwise from Top Left: Verm Bowl! BBQ Ducks, Avocado Shake

I've had a taste for a Vermicelli Bowl ever since I had that mind-blowing dish from Mai's in Houston, so out of obligation, I ordered one at Van Loi. The flavorful, tender meat; crunchy vegetables; cold noodles; hot, fried Spring Roll; sprinkling of fresh Cilantro; salty Peanuts - this dish is so well-rounded. It is close to perfection. The sundry condiments sang to my heart. I doused my noodles with Fish Sauce, Sriracha, and a little Soy Sauce (why not?)

Though I'm not a huge Pho-head, I sampled my dining partner's and the broth is money. The beef is tender; exactly what Pho fans would want. I didn't slurp too much, because I knew I had to save room for the Avocado Shake. Yes, you read me right. This creamy, luscious, not-too-sweet concoction seems so obvious - how had I not thought of this before? I encourage you to pull out your blender right now...or better yet, head to Van Loi. Branch out. It will be a wonderful surprise.

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