I grew up in a town that only had one extremely Americanized Chinese Restaurant, but I would come to Cleveland often to visit my Aunt who was a regular at Minh Anh. I have nothing but fond memories of meals at Minh Anh, my aunt chatting it up with Van and my first tastes of Vietnamese food. It was so different than anything I had ever had that it quickly became my favorite food. Today, I still find many people who have not tried Vietnmese food. I imagine it can be intimidating to examine a menu that is completely alien to you, which is why I have so often overheard people order from the standard Americanized section of the menu and totally missing out. Thankfully, Bac Nguyen, who grew up in his families restaurant, Minh Anh, is bringing those flavors to his own restaurant, Bac in Tremont. Bac is exactly where I would take someone to introduce them to Vietnamese food.
I was so impressed with the Coconut Milk Crepe. It reminds me very much of the crepes at Minh Anh that come in a giant order. This was a nice size portion and a good way to get a little taste of this traditional Vietnamese dish, which is one of my favorites.
Another extremely well done traditional dish is the Green Papaya Salad. Shredded papaya may sound a little out there, but it so incredibly refreshing. My lunch date ordered it, but I could not stop eating it. You'll find this dish at just about any Vietnamese restaurant.
I have an pork obsession so I started with the Pork Buns. These are a must try snack. You get your pick of meat, but this pork was cooked so perfectly that I highly recommend trying it. Buns are some of my favorite food. All the flavors of a banh mi packed into a fluffy little steamed bun.
Due to my pork obsession I also got the Pork Rangoon. Pork and cream cheese...I'll be bac! So good! This a great place to order a bunch of apps and chill out on the patio.
Bac has a great drink menu as well. Lots of sake, beers, wine and fun cocktails. I had a refreshing Pimm's Cup, one of my favorite summer cocktails.
I just left and I already can't wait to go back. Whether you want to try some traditional Vietnamese dishes like the crepes and papaya salad or some tasty pork apps like the buns or rangoon, you won't regret a trip to Bac.