Lunch of the Month: Aroy Dee

— By Design Furniture & Interior Design presents dsmDining —

Above: Looking fairly scrumptious, this bowl of goodness awaits diners at Aroy Dee.

By Wini Moranville

Most food lovers in town have their favorite Vietnamese hideaway—those unassuming spots tucked away in forlorn strip malls and aging buildings in less-than-trendy parts of town. I’ve visited many of them, and enjoyed them all. My favorite is Aroy Dee.

Granted, this little hideaway specializes in Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese food, but it’s the Vietnamese selections that always draw me in. The Pho often comes to mind first, but as we finally head into mild-to-warm temperatures, I highly recommend the Bun, dishes anchored by vermicelli rice noodles and brimming with so many good things.

The big bowl brings room-temperature noodles topped with the warm ingredients of your choice (marinated grilled pork, tofu, eggrolls, shrimp or a combination). Arranged in the bowl next to the warm ingredients are fresh and cold raw vegetables cut into bite-size shreds: cucumbers, bean sprouts, pickled carrots and lettuce. Served alongside the big bowl is a little bowl of thin, clear sauce—a lightly acidic, little-bit-sweet mixture that includes fermented fish sauce for a salty-savory angle. The little bowl of sauce is meant to be poured directly into the bowl of Bun.

The result, as you can imagine, is a study in contrasts. Imagine warm, chewy-in-a-good-way pork with cool and crunchy vegetables and soft and slippery white noodles. Add chopped eggrolls—and you must—for another irresistible angle: finely chopped, densely packed ingredients inside a crisp, flaky wrapping.

These delights can be had for $8.75 when you order dish #12: Egg Roll and Pork Vermicelli.

Aroy Dee is at 2128 Indianola Ave.; 515-528-8009.

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

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