We fared well with banh mi stuffed with tofu skins on our first visit to Eden Center in Falls Church, but didn’t strike gold until last week at Thanh Van. Nestled in Eden Center’s Saigon West indoor complex (it’s #37 once you’re inside), this tiny, all-veg spot is a gem.
The menu includes 3 rolls and 9 noodle/soup variants that all sound very similar, along with Vietnamese pancakes (banh xeo) and a couple of rice bowls. There’s also a selection of several prepared vegetable and tofu dishes. We strongly recommend choosing your own adventure as everything we had was tasty and the surprise is half the fun. Here’s what we ended up with:
#5 Hue vegetarian spicy noodle soup – simply excellent. Possibly the most flavorful broth we’ve ever had, with a generous pile of various mushrooms, vegetables, seasoned tofu, seitan, and bouncy noodles.
We spied on some other diners and noted that other noodle soups look quite varied. Although it’ll be tough to not order the spicy bowl again, one with a paler broth and lots of bright green broccoli looked especially inviting (was it pho? The rice noodle soup? The large rice noodle soup? Until next time…)
#15 combo plate – Order the broken rice plate and choose three items from the prepared food bar. Both the lemongrass fried tofu and stuffed tofu, steeped in a delicate broth, were well-seasoned and not excessively oily. The plate comes with an extra bowl of also yummy broth to dump over everything.
With satisfied bellies and to-go containers of leftovers in tow, we settled our bill of $20. Total. We might be city mice, but food and prices like these make us happy to visit the ‘burbs.
6795 Wilson Blvd #37
Falls Church, VA 22044