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Tour Eats: Vietnamese in Falls Church, Va.

July 21, 2011 |  3:00 pm

SongQue When Wet & Reckless is not playing music, we’re shopping. It’s part of the fun of being in an all-girl band. (We could write a dissertation on the downsides, beginning with the words “cat fight,” and ending with “Does this guitar strap make me look fat?” but we’ll spare you.)

So after a long day of sorting through a thrift store the size of the Glendale Galleria and procuring more clothes than we could possibly fit into our rental van (until we discovered a secret compartment in the wheel well), we headed to Eden Center, which is basically the Little Vietnam in the DC area.

Our friend Nikhil had been singing the praises of a deli called Song Que, which serves authentic banh mi sandwiches at rock-bottom prices. The lemongrass beef, shredded steamed pork with crispy pork skin and caramelized tofu skins are all $3.75 each.

The meat is piled into a toasted French roll and topped with jalapeño, cilantro, pickled carrot, onion, daikon radish and cucumber. The whole thing is then wrapped in white butcher paper and bound with a rubber band. Be sure to order one of their housemade boba shakes; we tried avocado (magically delicious), coconut and mango, and bought two more for the road.

Song Que is also stocked with plenty of interesting eats such as dried baby squid and a Vietnamese version of the saladitos (dried, salted plums) that are so abundant in Los Angeles.

A word about the tofu: It’s made in-house and its skins soaked in some kind of dark, savory sauce before being cooked. We had never tasted tofu prepared like that and we tried hard to get the owners to divulge their secret, but they wouldn’t budge. They just laughed at us, which is a reaction we tend to get pretty regularly when we’re sleep-deprived.

Song Que Vietnamese Deli, 6769 Wilson Blvd., Falls Church, Va. (703) 536-7900; www.songquedeli.com.


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Photo: A lemongrass beef and a carmelized tofu skin banh mi. Credit: Jessica Gelt