Song Que is a Vietnamese deli and mini-mart in the Eden Center, a Vietnamese American strip mall in Falls Church Virginia, a few miles outside of Washington DC.
I was introduced to Song Que Deli during my first visit to the Eden Center, couple of years ago. Although, technically accessible by the metro (15 minutes walk), I don’t know anyone who has made the trip to the Eden Center by the metro. Thus, Eden Center remains top of my list whenever out-of-town visitor drops by with a car with an appetite for adventurous food.
Song Que sells more than two-dozen smoothies and drinks. My favorite is the avocado smoothie that blends creaminess of avocados with the sweetness of condensed milk. You can get it garnished with tapioca seeds or bubbles like any other smoothies.
Technically Banh mi means just bread, but among Vietnamese diaspora aboard, it means meat-filled banh mi sandwiches. There are about half a dozen delicious options costing just $3/$4. This time , we chose two bánh mì; Banh Mi Bi (shredded steam pork & pork skin) and Banh Mi Gio Bo (house braised ham).Both bánh mì were decent, but for my carnivorous appetite, I would have preferred to have option of adding extra meat.
Bánh Bột Lọc (Vietnamese Clear Dumpling)
Bánh Bột Lọc are clear Vietnamese dumplings made from tapioca flour. Our banh bot loc had whole shrimp, scallion, and fish. Son Que’s rendition of clear dumplings had whole shrimp with intact shells. Sorry but I prefer to eat my shrimp without shells.
Factoid: Why Vietnamese dumplings and rolls are see-through!The clear dumpling dough is a central Vietnamese specialty made from flour mixes that consist of tapioca starch and some cornstarch. Tapioca flour when cooked becomes translucent (or clear), giving it its defining characteristic. Tapioca is the same stuff that makes bubbles in bubble tea.
Xoi Ga (Vietnamese Sticky Rice)
Xoi Ga is one of the pre wrapped entrée we chose. Xoi Ga is sticky rice with chicken garnished with peanut, soy sauce, and scallions. There are other fried rice options. They taste good cold as well as warm (after microwaving).
Among Vietnamese snacks, many of which are commercial prepackaged stuff, my first choice for Vietnamese snack is the dried squid jerky. Dried squids do not sound that appetizing but it tastes similar to any jerky with a slight fish flavor. This jerky treat is good enough for even liberal vegetarians (pescetarian) out there.
I am not an expert on Vietnamese food so can’t vouch if Song Que offers good or authentic Vietnamese deli. As a universal food-lover what I can say is that a delicious venture to Song Que will surely fill up your eyes, taste buds and stomach without emptying your wallet.
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