Are any two crispy spring rolls alike in Portland? I don’t think so. The Vietnamese Cha Gio that is offered on just about every Vietnamese restaurant appetizer menu has been the deciding factor on whether my husband and I will return. We always start our meals with them, so if they don’t hold up, we won’t frequent the place. We’re the same way about antipasto platters in Italian restaurants. He once commented that our appetizer looked like a board of Lunchables. It was a pricey place, and we expected more.
Pho Van delivers their crispy spring rolls to the table with green leaf lettuce and herbs, which is how we always ate them at my mom’s house. They’re also located near our home, and I can now get there without using navigation on my phone. Hey, we’re new here.
The duck soup at Pho Van is also a favorite.
The duck arrives on a delicious Vietnamese cabbage salad with the addictive ginger fish sauce dressing. I put the sauce in my soup, then ask for more for my salad.
You can also order vermicelli noodle bowls with cha gio, or crispy spring rolls. I was pretty happy with this order. It’s the combo bowl.
I prefer the rice paper fried springies over the other wrapped springies, but they’re okay on occasion. I once brought homemade spring rolls to friends at Good Food By Ferneau and Butcher and Public, explaining that they were more like Charles Phan’s recipe than what they’re probably used to. Travis said he was surprised I knew who Charles Phan was. I said I’m Vietnamese, I’m surprised you know who Charles Phan is! But Travis interned at Higgins here in Portland. So……
You can get one of these for under a dollar on Powell. Not too bad.
The Pate Chaud is also very good at Binh Minh. Pork meat filling wrapped in puff pastry.
Jade Teahouse also has a nice offering! Please let us know if we are missing out on any delicious Vietnamese food anywhere, especially in the Pacific Northwest!
Luc Lac also serves outstanding crispy rolls. The wait is worth it! If you’d like to make your own at home, try my family’s recipe here: Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls Here’s how they look…..