This year we're marking the hundred-day countdown to Best of Phoenix 2015 by sharing some of our favorite dishes at restaurants all over the Valley. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
84. Banh Thit Nguoi at Da Vang
For $2.25, you could buy a burrito at Taco Bell, two hamburgers at McDonald's, or, like, half of a six-inch sandwich at Subway. Or — and this is the option I would definitely choose — you could take those two and a quarter dollars and get yourself a whole fully-loaded banh mi at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in town, Da Vang. This simple little eatery has been open for nearly two decades and does everything from piping-hot bowls of pho to crispy stuffed Vietnamese crepes quite well.
Of course, the pho is a fan favorite. (And Da Vang certainly does have a lot of fans.) With tender, white rice noodles and soul-satisfyingly rich broth, Da Vang's pho is comfort food at its best — and at about $5 a bowl, it's also a steal. But don't let the beef noodle soup steal all the attention. Da Vang's banh mi are also excellent, certainly some of the best in town, and come stuffed with anything you could want, from shredded pork to liver pate.
I like the banh thit nguoi (No. 76 on the menu), a sandwich that comes loaded with the perfect meaty trifecta: creamy liver spread, ham, and pork sausage. It all comes wrapped in a fluffy, white French roll that's slathered in mayonnaise, while a medley of crunchy fresh vegetables including carrots, cucumbers, white onions, and sliced jalapeños gives a nice variety of texture.
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It makes a filling enough meal on its own, but I wouldn't judge you if you ordered it as a hearty side dish to a bowl of that pho.
The 100 Favorite Dishes so far...
100. Waffle at Matt's Big Breakfast
99. Pacific White Fish Taco at La Santisima
98. Beef Roll at Taiwan Food Express
97. Zinc Burger at Zinc Bistro
96. Goat Biryani at Khyber Halal
95. Key Lime Doughnut at Welcome Chicken + Donuts
94. Chicharrón Prensado Quesadilla at La Merced
93. Moist Succulent Pork Chop at Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe
92. Deep Fried Squid with Salt and Pepper from Nee House Chinese Cuisine
91. Coconut Raspberry Brownie at Karl's Quality Bakery
90. Fried Chicken at Phoenix Public Market Cafe
89. The Tyler at Cheese 'N Stuff
88. Hurricane Popcorn at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
87. Ceviche at El Chullo
86. Date Shake at Couscous Express
85. Red Bean and Rice Burger at Liberty Market