Monday, September 15, 2014

Delicious food -- neatly wrapped -- at Simply Vietnamese

Summer Rolls with Shrimp at Simply Vietnamese in Tenafly.


I can't resist the allure of Vietnamese summer rolls, which allow you to see the fresh, crunchy contents through translucent rice paper.

I ordered the appetizer -- filled with rice noodles, lettuce, cucumber and carrot -- to share with my wife on Saturday night at Simply Vietnamese in Tenafly, as I always do (two rolls for $8.50).

I chose Summer Rolls with Shrimp, and they were cut in half and arranged on the plate to show the contents.

The plate also held a cup of mildly spicy peanut sauce for dipping.

The rolls satisfy the primal urge to pick up your food and eat it without worrying about chopsticks or forks and knives.

My wife chose Chef's Noodle Soup as her entree ($14), made with chicken broth and fresh herbs in contrast to the anise-scented broth of pho, the specialty of the house.

Chef's Noodle Soup includes shrimp, pork and chicken.

The hand-held theme

I guess I like eating with my hands -- think fish tacos and roll-ups of cheese, smoked wild salmon, lettuce and mustard I snack on at home.

My entree, Steamed Asian Angel Hair with Vegetables ($15.95), was a big plate holding undressed rice noodles, cooked and raw vegetables; and green-leaf lettuce with fresh cilantro and mint for wrapping.

This turned out to be a three-napkin dish when I poured the vinegar sauce over the noodles before wrapping them in lettuce.

A neater method would be to make the wraps and then dip one end in the sauce.

Steamed Asian Angel Hair comes with lettuce and fresh herbs for wrapping, a vinegar sauce and a choice of vegetables, curry chicken, beef, grilled pork or shrimp.

Another view of angel-hair rice noodles with vegetables.

Addictive shrimp chips with a spicy chili dipping sauce are complimentary, as are seconds.

They know my name

Besides going for the delicious food, I enjoy Simply Vietnamese because just about everybody knows my name.

I've been a customer of K.T. Tran, the chef-owner, and two of the waiters, Joe and Peter, for many years, including at their former restaurants in Fort Lee and Englewood.

Simply Vietnamese, 1 Highwood Ave., Tenafly; 201-568-7770. BYO, free street parking.

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