The Green Papaya

At the end of June, this well-reviewed Capitol Hill Vietnamese restaurant took a risk. It limited its lunch service to weekends and began an ambitious catering and boxed-lunch program. Dinner is still served every night except Sunday, but the lunch cutbacks have paid off. The Papaya's boxed lunches ($10; $8 for sandwiches), all of which include bottled water and dessert, make a seamless transition from kitchen to office. The expertly cooked prawns in the Green Papaya Salad are only part of its charm; sliced pork loin, a tangy dressing made with citrus and fish sauce (nuoc mam), and fresh mint (to keep the dish tasting fresh) all beautifully complement the tart title ingredient. The French influence on Vietnamese cuisine is well represented in the Indochine sandwich (ham and chicken pâté with crisp cucumbers and carrots on a crunchy baguette), another excellent choice. There's plenty for vegetarians, too, including Lemongrass Tofu. Of the sweet-spicy sauce and satisfyingly firm tofu, one taster said: "I'm lukewarm on tofu in general, but [this dish] could convert me." Though Vietnamese food isn't rare in Seattle, it's uncommon to find a delivery deal this sweet. (Note: Orders must be placed at least 24 hours in advance, and a charge of $10 applies to all orders under $100.) 600 E. Pine St., 206-323-1923. CAPITOL HILL

 
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