Dear Dalat, I must confess. I strayed tonight. I went elsewhere for my pho. I couldn’t help it. I really needed a quick fix and well… it was just there. I didn’t even stay and eat. Just got my take out and ran. But when I got home, the kids knew immediately. They knew as soon as they smelled the broth. They pouted and then REFUSED TO EAT IT!! Lesson learned, I won’t be straying again.
“Mr Khanh has the best pho,” declared Pikelet of Khanh Nguyen, owner of Dalat Vietnamese restaurant on Fitzhugh. The boys love the fragrant, silky, rich broth that Nguyen simmers for hours. The beef is lean and never grizzly or fat which is atypical of Vietnamese food. But that’s the way Nguyen likes it as do my two precocious children.
Beefcake likes the spicy beef soup with shrimp paste and chilies to kick it up a few notches. Whenever I’m a bit under the weather, the chicken or the veggie pho soothes me with it’s clean, clear broth, tofu and mixed vegetables. It is comfort food to the core.
The year old East Dallas restaurant has been making a name for some of its quirky items. Their take on the banh mi Vietnamese sandwich or, Khanhwiches feature some fun fillings. Spam banh mi anyone? But our favorite is still the more traditional wok seared lemongrass beef or pork banh mi stuffed with all the fixings of cilantro, pickles, carrot, mayo and jalapeno.
The deconstructed pho is another favorite for the whole family. A bowl of dry noodles with beef and broth for dipping noodles on the side. Another dish that involves dipping is the vermicelli bowl. The crunch of the fresh veggies along with oodles of cooling vermicelli are just great for summer.
The decor is casual with a dramatic blue dragon mural to catches the eye. Pikelet & Lollo love the dance music and patrons don’t mind if the kids boogie a bit in between bites of pho. At night, the restaurant turns into a fun lounge with karaoke nights and live DJ while patrons sip Longontinis and down that famous Dalat Dragon shot. But since we go early the only shots that are going down the hatch are the meatball shooters. Tiny spherical meatballs in a mildly spicy coconut broth served in a shot glass. It’s an ode to one of Nguyen’s fave restaurant items, the lobster shooter from Abacus.
Eat. Drink. Pho.
Click here for more info on Dalat
Till our next Happy Meal!
Cheryl Collett is a mom on a mission to expand her kids’ palates and IttyBittyFoodies chronicles their yummy adventures. For recipes ideas, look under HomeMade or check out the best kid friendly places under Restaurant Reviews and best kid foodie items at Product Reviews. Get the latest updates if you Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @ittybittyfoodie
ITTY BITTY INFO:
- Food: Vietnamese comfort food with quirk and fun
- Ambiance: Casual, loungy with a neighborhood feel
- Service: Friendly folks
- Kid Friendliness: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
- Itty Bitty Foodies Tip: Best beef pho!
- Parent Foodies Tip: You never have to worry about ‘mystery’ meat in this Vietnamese restaurant