You know, I haven't had anything for my "One Trick Pony's" category in a while...but then again, I hadn't been back to Quoc Te in a while.
Over the years, I've been to Quoc Te more than a few times, and have tried more than a few items on the menu. In what became a disturbing trend, I've found that the food has gotten steadily worse over the years, to the point that the Missus has given up on eating here. I'm not sure that I'm the only one who notices this. But then again, check out the cavernous dining room at 12 noon on a recent Thursday.
There is basically only one item I order here(though I've been told the fried rice is pretty good):
I order the Banh Cuon Dac Biet($5.95), which is quite a lot of food for the price.
On a bed of steamed rice flour rolls(think Cheong Fun, but more delicate) and bean sprouts, resides shredded pork(always on the dry side), Gio Lua(lean pork sausage), two slices of a sour sausage, four slices of a mung bean and shrimp cake(also usually very dry), topped with fried shallots.
It is a good amount of food....after all the Dac Biet(special) contains a little bit of everything that the other Banh Cuon dishes have.
There are up to six(I've had a few as 4, and as many as 6 - don't ask me why) rice flour rolls, on this day there were 3 types(I've had some different versions on occasion), one type with cloud ear fungus and ground pork, another with shredded pork, and the last with shredded dried shrimp.
I just realized this has sort of read like an inventory of sorts...but it's kind of how I approach this dish whenever I order it...."hmmmm, let's see what we got today...."
I pour Nuoc Mam Cham(Fish sauce based dipping sauce) all of it and devour the whole thing. It doesn't strike me as anything amazing or out of this world, but is very filling and refreshing on a hot day. Come to think of it, I've never had Banh Cuon that has knocked my socks off, but maybe "Friends of mmm-yoso" Beach or Billy can recommend somewhere, or even my good Blogger Buddy Wandering Chopsticks.
Until then, I'll just drop by Quoc Te whenever I want some Banh Cuon. Quoc Te has two locations, here's Annie's post on the University Avenue location, from Her Blog Green Beans in Writing. To the right is a photo of the listed "specials" in Vietnamese, I'm including a photo of the Chinese version below.
Quoc Te 2 International Restaurant
4344 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111