It's true: You will not find Elizabeth Street Café's eclectic menu of French and Vietnamese fusion anywhere else. And it's a good thing, cause no other attempt could beat it. The mint house welcomes an immediate sense of comfortable delight. The trendy waiters, in floral dresses, bring pinot grigio in small glasses and welcome any questions on the commonly-mispronounced pho or bun. Basically, once you try this café once, you'll keep coming back. I have been coming back for years and still cannot get enough!
After a round of drinks, we ordered a colorful array of dishes and house specialties. My new pink sunnies and Hannah's hot pink nails seemed to match the vibe and color scheme well! Unless you're sensitive to spice, you cannot go in any wrong direction with this menu.
I absolutely loved the tofu and avocado steam bun special with red chili flakes and cilantro (top photo). I'm a sucker for fluffy steam buns, and the avocado/tofu combo was light and airy for a breezy spring night. Above, Hannah and Hannah stuck with a usual Elizabeth Street delicacy -- vermicelli with a lean yet bold flank steak and all the fixins. With an extra spoonful of plum sauce, you'll be in heaven, too.
Jennifer's rice paper spring rolls are, in my opinion, the best in the city. I always go back and forth between the poached shrimp or jumbo lump crab options. Each serving comes with a sampler of three tangy sauces to mix together or enjoy separately: classic peanut, ginger-jalapeño (go easy on this one), and sweet chili vinegar.
This past dinner at Elizabeth marked the third time I have ordered the green mango and cucumber salad -- the underrated appetizer is awesome. Beyond the gorgeous colors and textures going on, there's a unique contrast of sweet fruit, savory beef jerky pieces, and herbal thai basil. I recommend ordering this salad with spring rolls or steam buns for a lighter meal -- sometimes, it's difficult to delve into the intense bowl of pho (especially when you're saving room for Gourdough's next door...).
I hope you pop on over to this unforgettable spot soon!