My Vietnam serves up time-tested Vietnamese dishes

EVERETT — Pho today is perhaps like sushi was 25 years ago. Ya gotta have it.

OK, yeah, the pho craze is about 10 years old, but it’s still hip. In fact, it seems like a lot of hipsters like this inexpensive, filling, aromatic noodle soup.

However, at My Vietnam in Everett, pho as been a mainstay of the menu for all of the restaurant’s 20-year tenure in a small strip mall storefront on Evergreen Way.

There, owners Tau Sopy and his wife Wan have been serving what they call traditional Vietnamese soup (pho), traditional Vietnamese sandwiches (banh mi), traditional Vietnamese vermicelli noodle bowls (bun) and salad rolls (goi cuon) for much longer than most Americans knew what pho was.

The Taus left Saigon, after losing many family members in the war, to live in France for a time before moving to Everett in 1994. That is a story for another day, but the French influence (and remember that Vietnam was a French colony) is worth mentioning.

You may be greeted with “madame” or “monsieur.”

Pass the Buddha figure near the door and sit down, even if you are ordering takeout, because Tau (pronounced like two) will bring you a pot of tea.

His wife Wan (pronounced like one) is in charge of the kitchen, where she prepares orders quickly.

“People often forget our names and call me Wan. I say, no, my lady is No. 1, and I am No. 2,” said Tau with a smile.

The regulars who visit My Vietnam like to call Tau by name and they often get a hug with their welcome greeting.

The couple’s small restaurant is bright, pleasant and surprisingly quiet for being on busy Evergreen Way. Classical music plays in the background.

Tau said My Vietnam is perhaps best known for its dish of stir-fried lemongrass, topped with peanuts and served with jasmine rice and a choice of meat.

We’ve had a few occasions to visit My Vietnam.

A friend goes there for lunch sometimes and she’s the one who tipped us off to this place. Like many people, she has some dietary restrictions and the folks at My Vietnam are very accommodating.

“It says so right on the menu,” she said.

One day, my husband and I ordered banh mi sandwiches ($3.50 each) to go. I think Tau may have incorrectly communicated our order to his wife because we both got traditional barbecued pork sandwiches. Mine had too much mayonnaise, but the cilantro and the vegetables on the sandwich were fresh, as was the light, crusty French roll.

We also ordered shrimp spring rolls ($3.75) with peanut sauce. The shrimp was fresh and tasty and the vegetables crunchy. The takeout sauce had separated a bit, but all was well when we stirred it up.

We had much better luck with the pho and the bun.

A medium serving of the combination pho ($6.95) was a generous bowl of meaty broth and noodles with numerous slices of beef, tripe and meatball. The traditional accompaniment of basil leaves, bean sprouts, jalapeno slices and a lime wedge, along with a squeeze or two from a bottle of sriracha and hoisen sauce, made for a flavorful and healthy meal that satisfied the appetite and brought a little sweat to the brow.

The (vermicelli) bun bowl ($7.25) was equally flavorful and filling, with fresh vegetables, charbroiled chicken, a light fish sauce and peanuts.

Our appetizer this time was the steamed pork dumplings ($5), which had a wonderful garlicky taste.

Next time, we’ll go back for the lemongrass dish that Tau suggests.

Merci, monsieur!

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @galefiege.

My Vietnam

6309 Evergreen Way, Everett; 425-353-3224

Hours: 10:30 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sundays and some holidays.

Specials: After 3 p.m., look for house specialties that include a combo platter of rolls for $12 and the coconut crepe supper with chicken shrimp or tofu for $9.50. My Vietnam also does catering.

Alcohol: None.

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