105 W. Saratoga St. # 1, downtown 410-244-8677 Vietnamese food has gained recognition in the last few years with proponents such as Anthony Bourdain touting its fresh, vibrant ingredients. Mekong Delta, a small family-owned restaurant, has been championing traditional Vietnamese fare while creating new dishes. If you find yourself in the modest-yet-always-full dining room, get a bowl of the pho (pronounced fuh). Rich, spicy and hearty while maintaining a clean flavor, the noodle soup is available with meat toppings such as chicken ($8.25) and beef tendon ($8.25 and owner Leo Nguyen's favorite). In contrast to the pho are Mekong Delta's summer rolls ($3.95). These soft, rice-paper-wrapped and light and refreshing. As good as the pho is, the Vietnamese crepes ($8.95) are just as good. They are an almost-ethereal experience of crunchy, salty outsides giving way to a custardy coconut filling with shrimp. Tip: Mekong Delta only takes cash, so make preparations.
Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore Sun
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