May 16, 201309:34 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Two More Vietnamese Restaurants Come to Metairie, CBD

Vietnamese restaurants are hardly uncommon in New Orleans. Other than poor boys places or fast food outlets, there are probably more Vietnamese joints than any other kind of restaurant. That said, there are certain parts of the city where the cuisine has not been available. The CBD and Old Metairie were two, but that's changed recently.

 

Rolls N Bowls opened at 605 Metairie Road a couple of months ago, with a fairly basic menu of spring rolls, pho and other soups, vermicelli noodle bowls, banh mi sandwiches and dishes served over steamed rice. The restaurant is located in a modest strip mall near the railroad crossing in what passes as the commercial center of Old Metairie. It's not a large space, but it's bright and has seating for around 30. In addition to the more standard offerings you'd expect from any Vietnamese menu, Rolls N Bowls has a few specialty spring rolls, including vegetarian options filled with shiitake mushrooms or avocado and basil. There are vegetarian soups as well, but the restaurant also serves the spicy beef stew known as Bo Kho over either bread or with noodles. The bread, also used for banh mi sandwiches, comes from the New Orleans East Vietnamese bakery Dong Phuong.

 

There are specials from time to time as well, such as the green papaya salad on the board when I visited recently. Bubble teas and Vietnamese coffee are also on offer. Call 309-0519 to find out more about the place or to place a takeout order.

 

Downtown saw the opening of Viet Orleans Bistro on May 7. The restaurant, at 300 Baronne St., has a somewhat more extensive menu than Rolls N Bowls which fits with the significantly larger space the restaurant occupies. In addition to spring rolls stuffed with shrimp, grilled chicken, pork or tofu, the restaurant offers fried chicken wings, grilled skewers of chicken or beef and steamed or fried pork, chicken and vegetable dumplings. Banh mi include grilled or fried shrimp, fried fish and grilled pork, beef and chicken versions. Pho comes with the usual beef cuts – rare eye of round, flank, brisket and meatballs or a combination thereof; and there's also a seafood version with fish balls and shrimp. Rice and vermicelli noodle dishes are similarly available with some combination of grilled pork, beef, shrimp and tofu. The restaurant also offers party trays of its appetizers, salads and fried rice, and the rolls, and like Rolls N Bowls features bubble teas, here from a separate counter that also sells ice cream. Viet Orleans Bistro is currently waiting on a liquor license, which will make the long bar that dominates one side of the dining room good for more than a place to wait for takeout. Call 333-6917 to find out more.

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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived here his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.

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