For New Year's Eve, my boyfriend and I got our Vietnamese fix at Lotus Cafe in Silver Spring, Maryland. Located at 8077 Georgia Avenue, Lotus Cafe is next door to Jackie's Restaurant and can be spotted from the Metro train when it surfaces. We had visited this unassuming spot before, back when it was called My Le. I remember dining alfresco on the wooden patio. This visit we checked out the restaurant's interior--a bit funky but not without charm. In fact, we had the whole dining room to ourselves because other folks must prefer posh, white table cloth restaurants for New Year's celebrations.
We started our meal with artfully arranged summer rolls. These tofu rolls were a nice, fresh break from the many deep-fried spring rolls of Christmas past. I ordered the Half Burn Rice Noodles (top), not entirely sure what the name meant. The thick, wide rice noodles that came out were, in fact, half-charred and deliciously so. My boyfriend ordered pan fried rice noodles (below), which came as a thinner vermicelli. These plates were very similar in terms of fried tofu, veggies, and sauce. Really, the style of noodle was the big difference.
Lotus Cafe has a sizable vegetarian section on their menu. They also have a full bar, which was essential for the holiday. Their patio alone deserves a revisit in nicer weather.