Years ago, my circle of friends included several people that are half Vietnamese. Their moms made platters of crispy, greasy beef spring rolls that were always a hit at every party. We would visit Vietnamese restaurants, especially in New York, but ordering posed a problem unless WVN was with us to translate the menu.
Nevertheless, we managed to try it often and I soon fell in love with the traditional dessert called Che’ Dac Biet, a combination of crushed ice, sweet red beans, coconut milk, and jelly candies. Sometimes there was fruit like mango or lychee. Even the Vietnamese guys thought it was too weird. I’ll never forget, BH brought me one in a styrofoam cup during a grueling set up at the Javits Convention Center…it was the best surprise!
Vietnamese cuisine was harder to find in Atlanta with an equally daunting language barrier. It took me years to discover that Pho Dai Loi on Buford Highway serves this dessert, their version with gritty mung beans and crushed peanuts. Just wish their jellies were the chewy kind.
4186 Buford Highway 404-633-2111