I have a confession to make: I went to an authentic Vietnamese restaurant and didn’t order pho.
I know, I’m a bit odd. But I have no regrets.
That’s because Basil, a new Vietnamese restaurant in south Everett, delivered some tasty dishes I’d never tried before.
That being said, Basil’s pho — the iconic soup of Vietnam — did receive high praise from a coworker who joined me there for lunch recently. But more on that later.
Basil’s menu includes fried egg rolls, spring rolls, wonton soup, grilled pork and beef noodles, banh mi sandwiches, Vietnamese coffee and 18 types of pho.
I ordered bun thit nuong cha gio ($8.95), which came with grilled pork, vermicelli noodles, fried egg rolls, pickled carrots, roasted peanuts, cucumbers and nuoc mam, a fish sauce.
The pork was thick and juicy, while the egg rolls and peanuts delivered a satisfying crunch. The noodles, combined with the other toppings, were excellent.
Speaking of those egg rolls, my coworker, Daily Herald social media producer Ben Watanabe, and I split a pair of vegetarian fried egg rolls ($3.50) for an appetizer. They had just the right texture for egg rolls, with a light, golden-brown exterior and a juicy filling of carrots, taro, cabbage and tofu.
Ben ordered Basil’s special pho, dac biet, for his main dish. He called it “pizza version of pho” because of how many meats it has: steak, flank, brisket, tendon, tripe and Vietnamese beef balls.
Ben said the soup wasn’t too salty, which he appreciated.
“The meat was also a little sweet, which was good,” he said.
Finally, we split a banh mi sandwich with grilled pork, pickled onion and carrots, cucumbers, jalapeno, cilantro and house-made marinade served on a baguette ($4.95).
While I’ve heard a lot about these sandwiches, Basil’s was my first. It hit the mark, starting with a baguette that had a crunchy outside, light interior and delicious, fresh tasting ingredients complemented the savory pork.
In addition to tasting great, our food was served in about five minutes. And the pluses don’t stop there; Basil is near Crucible Brewing, which is excellent news for beer drinkers like Ben.
“Having Crucible just two doors down gives you the chance to stride right in there with (takeout from Basil) and enjoy some pints,” he said.
Basil is owned by Andrew Pham, 31, of Lynnwood. Pham is a second-generation Vietnamese-American. His parents left Vietnam to escape communism in the mid-1980s, immigrated to Washington and have owned and operated Seattle Deli, which serves Vietnamese cuisine, for the past 30 years. One of their two delis is in Edmonds.
Pham, a 2006 graduate of Mountlake Terrace High School, said he was eager to apply the restaurant management skills he learned from his parents over the years, while also serving authentic Vietnamese in a place close to home.
“This just felt right,” Pham said.
Speaking of close, Pham is keeping his family involved in the business; his dad is his mentor, and his uncle is head chef.
“It’s a blessing to have this true, family-run effort,” he said. “I can’t be more happy about it.”
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
Where: 909 SE Everett Mall Way D-400, Everett
When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday
More: www.facebook.com/hell0.basil or call 425-374-8082