Saturday, July 23, 2005

Those of you who know me personally know that I love food. My friend Kate and I, another lover of food, used to have culinary discussions that would drive our friend Heather up the wall. On one incident our discussion infuriated Heather so much she said, "If you two don't stop talking about food, I'm going to smash your faces in." Therefore, from time to time, I will be posting my reviews of restaurants here in the Dallas area.

East Wind
Vietnamese Restaurant

I am a big fan of vietnamese quisine. I love the uses of cilantro, lime, and rice noodles. East Wind has a reputation in Dallas for being one of the best places in the city to sample Vietnamese cuisine. I was disappointed. I ordered the spring rolls to start. The presentation was good but upon biting into the roll I found it lacked substance compared to other restaurants where you get a more substantial roll for a much lower price. Typically, Vietnamese spring rolls are filled with two to three pieces of shrimp, lettuce, fried and fried rice noodles all wrapped in a translucent rice paper. East Wind's attempt was decent but was heavy on the lettuce and there was only one piece of shrimp by my count. The peanut dipping sauce was well done but the dollop of chili paste was a bit overpowering.

For the main course I had seared lemmongrass beef with rice vermicelli. The dish is a generous portion of tender beef, rice vermicelli, bean sprouts, and other vegetables. The server offers to mix in the dressing and toss your dish which I highly reccommend. The dressing was light but flavorful. Overall the main dish was satisfying without being too heavy but didnt stick out as anything memorable. My partner ordered a seafood dish with scallops and shrimp. The sauce was excellent and the vegetables were cooked but not overdone. The dish only contained two scallops, hardly enough for the price of the plate. Our meal was followed by a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee which is hard to do wrong.

Although East Wind has a reputation as being a fine Vietnamese restaurant I find it to be overpriced and unremarkable. The fare is standard and the menu doest really have any superstar dishes that stand out and say "Eat Me!" For the money East Wind is not worth the trip. One is better off to venture into any one of the numerous, smaller Vietnamese establishments that Dallas has to offer.


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