Huong Binh is not a pho shop; they serve one variety—pho ga—only on weekends. Not an inch of its menu is influenced by the modern,

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Best Vietnamese

Huong Binh

Huong Binh is not a pho shop; they serve one variety—pho ga—only on weekends. Not an inch of its menu is influenced by the modern, nouvelle French-Vietnamese style—no baguettes, no crisp crepes, no paté. The dumplings (banh bot loc) are made of tapioca, stuffed with ground shrimp and slivers of candy-sweet pork, then steamed to bubblegum chewiness and topped with dried ground shrimp. The banh beo chen is split into five tiny crepes, each served in an individual bowl, garnished with ground shrimp and scallions, and swimming in fish sauce with scallions. What Huong Binh does is authentic, predominately Central Vietnamese food, much of it in the classic imperial Hue style—large platters meant to be broken down into small plates and bowls, heavily spiced and carefully prepared. This was once the food of kings and princesses, the court dinners of Vietnamese royalty. The style became so popular that it altered an entire regional cuisine before filtering out and becoming one of the baselines of American Vietnamese cuisine and the style done at Seattle's best Vietnamese restaurant. —Jason Sheehan 1207 S. Jackson St., 720-4907

 
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