Pho, Bun, and Banh Xeo at Top Pan

Did the title of this post look like a completely alien language to you?  Don’t worry, because by the end of this post, you’ll know what every one of those things are!  Hint: they’re all edible!

First off, Top Pan* is an Asian restaurant in South Florida.  It’s pretty new, so my family and I decided to check it out two weekends ago.  (By the way, you might not find it online if you’re searching for “Top Pan,” since it recently changed it’s name to “Brandon.”  Why?  No idea!)  Anyhoo, we ordered some Vietnamese, like we had at Little Saigon in Orlando just over a week ago.  Guess you could say we were on a Vietnamese kick.

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We ordered the traditional Pho Dac Biet, which translates to the Pho Special with a miscellaneous combination of beef parts, like tripe, tendon, brisket, flank, and meatballs.  In this bowl in particular, plenty (read: too much) of onion was added for flavor.  Overall, pretty standard fare.  Nothing stood out for me, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I’d rate it a good-fine.

We also ordered the Bun Dac Biet, with spring roll.

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A Big Bowl of Bun (Vietnamese Rice Noodles)

Before returning home from vacationing in Disney, we decided to stop for Vietnamese in Orlando, at the Little Saigon* restaurant on Colonial Drive.  Vietnamese in Orlando is supposedly better than it is in South Florida, so we thought the extra 20 mile (round-trip) commute would be worth it.

At Vietnamese restaurants, I really only order one of two things… Pho (rice noodles in broth) or Bun (rice noodle “salad” that you add fish sauce to for flavoring).  At Little Saigon, I ordered the Bun with grilled pork and spring rolls.  I called it a noodle “salad” because as you can see, it comes with a bunch of lettuce, cucumbers, and bean spouts (and occasionally, other veggies and herbs as well)!

The sauce comes on the side, and you essentially add as much as you want to the bowl before thoroughly stirring up the ingredients.  On a related note, those who I’ve talked to about fish sauce either love it or hate it.  Me, I love it — at least when used sparingly.  If you’ve tried it, what do you think?

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