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Green Leaf in the I. D.


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This place has been open for a couple of months but I didn't try it until a few days ago. It's next to Szechuan Noodle Bowl and across the street from House of Hong on 8th S.

Very small inside but gussied up a bit, with bamboo posts along the walls and cool light fixtures. Friendly service from the beginning. They seemed happy that we were there and steered us in the right direction when we ordered. Sometimes it's obvious when people are genuinely interested in pleasing you...

The food was really good. The 'fried flour cake' sounds pretty bad, but it was unbelievable. Very crispy on the outside, smooth and slightly gelatinous on the inside, covered in egg and served with a simple dipping sauce. The spring rolls had a core of what I think was crispy fried pork skin in a tight roll, making every bite delightfully crunchy. That led up to the pho, which was the best I've had in the city. I go to Pho Bac and love it, the Than Brothers is the old standby and great with a ton of hot sauce, and I just tried Pho Cyclo in Sodo, but this was better. The broth was richer, the toppings more fresh. I felt bad about adding a little hoisin and hot sauce but they made it perfect. My belly was warm for the rest of the day.

If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?

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The table next to me had a gigantic long roll that looked like a big omelet, but smelled like pork and spices. It looked great but I couldn't figure out what it was on the menu. Everything on the menu has a terse description but the dishes on the tables were all bright, large and delicious looking. Escargot is on there, along with a fair amount of duck.

I just noticed on the takout menu that I snagged that they serve a 7 course beef menu for $17.95. For two people.

Everything is very inexpensive based on what I had and the way the other things looked. Almost all of the starters are $3 and the main dishes and salads are $6.

Coming from downtown on Jackson it's the last street on the right before going under the freeway. Take the right and it's halfway down the block on the left.

Edited by chuck (log)

If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?

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Chuch, glad that you posted about this place. Spouse and I had a late dinner there this evening. It was about closing time but they welcomed us warmly. This was our second visit and I am working my way down their salad list. The lotus root salad and their special salad with grilled fresh tofu is very good. The lotus root and green leaf in the special salad is pickled or marinated in a sweet/sour vinagrette. They have their food esthetics down as well. I ordered that omlette-like thing (bahn ceo) which was one of the most delicately thin, crispy & perfectly done bahn ceos that I've had in a while. Mr. wl ordered the soup with anchovy broth. Too bad I dislike really fishy flavors as the soup was authentically Vietnamese but too fishy for me. we had flan for dessert which was tasty. This has become one of my favorite places in the ID. The service is excellent. They offered to modify any dish for us as my husband doesn't eat meat and I don't really like seafood. Much as I like Tamarind Tree, this is the type of place I would be more apt to frequent as it is less formal for the same type of food. The prices are reasonable as well. If they can keep up the quality this place will do well. Cheers... :rolleyes: wl

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Chuck, appologies for the typo in your name in my response. Laurie AB, many thanks for Matthew's Bahn xeo recipe. This is my favorite thing to order in a Vietnamese restaurant. Now I can try to make it myself.

BTW, this restaurant is very family friendly as at after 10:00 at night the owner's 3 1/2 year old was trying to clean tables with a cloth in between imaginary card games with her dad in the back of the restaurant where she was magically winning every game! Not once did they try to rush us or the other patrons in the out of the restaurant because it was past closing. I am looking forward to exploring the rest of the menu. Again, I hope this place makes it. :rolleyes: wl

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Thank you for this recommendation! We trekked up there from our downtown offices for lunch and it was fantastic. The Bahn Xeo, the special salad, the combo vermicelli bowl and the fresh spring rolls (these have the wonderful crunchy centers like the rolls at Tamarind Tree!!) were all fresh, delicious, and nicely presented. The most expensive thing we ordered was $6.95. What a fabulous find.

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Thank you so much for recommending Green Leaf! I had never heard of it so we decided to check it out.... and we had a wonderful lunch there today! We shared an order of Bahn Xeo (the crispy thin omelette mentioned above, that comes with filling of grilled shrimp, pork and bean sprouts) that you cut and eat by wrapping pieces of it in lettuce leaves w/ herbs of mint, Thai basil and cilantro, dipping in DELICIOUS sauce... and shared a bowl of combo Pho.

I was extremely pleased with the quality of food and freshness of everything, especially the herbs and lettuce, which are better quality than Tamarind Tree.

It's a smallish crowded place, but very cute, clean, with friendly, gracious service. They said they take reservations in the evenings for a group (if we ever want to meet there). I can't wait to go back.

Combo Pho (rare beef, brisket, tendon, tripe, meat ball, well-done beef) $6.25

greanleafpho.jpg

greenleaf4.jpg

Bahn Xeo (Vietnamese Pan Cake) (2) $6.95

greenleaf3.jpg

greenleaf2.jpg

In addition, Here is a link with a great looking photo of their Green Papaya Salad w/ Grilled Shrimp $5.95

Green Leaf Restaurant

418 Eighth Ave. S.

Seattle, WA

206-340-1388

Edited by Blue Heron (log)
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A group of us checked out this place last night. Bravo! Food quality was similar to the Tamarind Tree, but the service was much friendlier and more attentive. We enjoyed the green papaya salad with grilled shrimp (the salad could have been a little spicier), duck soup, beef in lop leaf, bahn xeo (the Vietnamese pancakes - voted favorite dish at the table), and a broken rice dish. We'll definitely go back again and sample other items, including the pho!

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The food was really good.  The 'fried flour cake' sounds pretty bad, but it was unbelievable.  Very crispy on the outside, smooth and slightly gelatinous on the inside, covered in egg and served with a simple dipping sauce. 

I had the 'bahn xeo' again (having difficulty ordering anything else) and also ordered that 'fried flour cake' last night out of curiosity. The soy dipping sauce was the perfect compliment. Another great dish!

As it was a cold night, I appreciate places that serve complimentary 'bottom-less cup' generic Asian tea that actually has flavor (and not just hot colored water). Again, the service was friendly as usual.

One of the two 'bahn xeo' that comes in an order was packed for take home. Here, they cut off diagonal corners of the square styro box in order for the 'bahn xeo' to remain crispy. The beautifully fresh greenery that goes with it was packed in clear plastic bag was sitting on the diagonal styro strip remaining on the box. After an hour ride home, the greenery looked fresh and unharmed by the heat escaping from the 'bahn xeo' styro. Because of the careful packing, the 'bahn xeo' reheated easily to its original delicate crispiness for my eagerly awaiting high schooler who was staying up late doing homework.

Again, thanks Chuck for initiating the post. Also, appreciation to Laurie AB for reminding us about Matthew's great artical & recipe. :rolleyes: wl

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The Bahn Xeo picture that Blue Heron posted is going to get me in trouble. I can't even look at it without developing a serious craving, and I'm getting in the habit of going to Green Leaf for lunch and the trek from 1st and Madison makes for a long lunch hour.

Edited by kiliki (log)
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...and I'm getting in the habit of going to Green Leaf for lunch and the trek from 1st and Madison makes for a long lunch hour.

I'm schlepping from 3rd & Pike, so I've got you beat! :biggrin:

If anyone hasn't tried the fried duck soup, you damn well should. It's a $20+ fine dining dish masquerading a $7 soup in a Vietnamese restaurant. Some day I'm going to have to order something other than that and the ban xeo.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Richard and I just had a wonderful dinner at Green Leaf. The people at the next table were eGullet lurkers and were there because of these posts (and some elsewhere). We were all happy with the food and Peter the owner couldn't have been more welcoming. We had the Banh Xeo and Beef Seven Ways and brought home enough for another serving. We'll go back for Tighe's duck soup.

Judy Amster

Cookbook Specialist and Consultant

amsterjudy@gmail.com

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This semi-lurker (what is exactly the threshold for lurking? - the percentage of posts made of posts read, perhaps?) had lunch at Green Leaf with a few friends, Sunday. It was a perfect day for vast, steaming amounts of tasty noodle soups (duck, udon, and pho, in our cases).

Edited by crouching tyler (log)

Robin Tyler McWaters

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...Tighe's duck soup.

Are they calling it that on the menu now?? :biggrin:

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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I have to add another thumbs up for Green Leaf. I went there the other night with two friends and we ate enough food for about ten people, yet I still left feeling like I wanted to try more... I completely forget about the fried duck soup until I was perusing the take out menu later that night. We had:

Veggie salad rolls - These tasted almost exactly like Tamarind Tree's, especially with the cripsy thing in the middle which I've never seen anywhere but Tamarind Tree. They were good, I'd say no different that TT's though.

Lemongrass tofu skewers - Not much of a lemongrass flavor, but really good none the less.

Fried flour cake - Like someone else said in this thread, the name sounds rather off-putting but this dish is really great. It sort of reminds me of a Vietnamese version of polenta... very creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside. I also really like the pickles it comes with which are really sweet and only slightly tangy, super crunchy too... mmm.

Banh Xeo - Just as good as they've been described. I think they were my favorite dish... I can't get over how good they were! I could make a meal out of those alone.

Vegetarian tofu soup - Nothing super special about this, which is not to say that it was bad. I'd rather have ordered the duck soup though.

Seven courses of beef - I haven't had this at Tamarind Tree, but one of my friends had and said that Green Leaf's was better. I really liked the charred tasting sausage looking things - I'm not sure what they were but they were great. The first salad was really good too, although I've had something similar with raw beef and more herbs that I thought was better.

And all that, plus dessert and lemonade was under $50. A pretty amazing deal, plus I love the decor and the service was really great. I'll definitely be returning!

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We were there again on tuesday night and the place was practically empty. I guess I should appreciate that more since if this little place gets reviewed it will be hard to get a table without waiting.

I didn't try anything that hasn't already been mentioned in this thread, but my friends RAVED about their duck salad.

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Finally tore myself away from the duck soup last time I went and had the soup with shrimp, squid and pork and clear noodles. After my first couple tastes, I thought I wasn't going to like it because of the broth's pronounced fishiness. Once my palate adjusted, I really enjoyed it. The shrimp and squid were mediocre, but the pork (BBQ and ground) and the noodles were fantastic. Also had the fresh spring rolls for the first time, wow, really tasty. Anyone know what the crunchy thing running through the middle is?

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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I'm pretty sure that it is a rice paper wrapper rolled up and deep fried. TT has the same thing in theirs. Doesn't it make the rolls unbelievably good? I've tried to make these crunchy little things but I only fried, rather than deep fried (I didn't want to heat up a whole pot of oil for just a couple wrappers), and it didn't work.

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Had great spur-of-the-moment meal there on Wednesday, spurred by this thread.

Wife, 13-year-old, me .. Young'un was disappointed at the lack of Pho Ga, but had the tender+brisket pho and was amazed at its gloriousness, as were we all--in particular its intense aroma and the amount of richness imparted by the spices (star anise? cinnamon? as am amateur Vietnamese food lover who's never cooked it, am lost on this). He also insisted on deep-fried egg rolls, his fave, also good if you like that kind of thing.

Spring rolls were excellent, presented almost exactly a la Tamarind Tree, though they didn't have my fave TT meatball option. Doug cabbage salad, however, was truly stunning, the best I've had -- beautiful (with red and green cabbage), delicious with cilantro etc merged into the salad. In many ways, along with the pho, this was the star of the show for me, as a regular and voracious consumer of this dish.

Banh xeo, which was new to us, was lovely, an incredible deal ... but not being a bean sprouts crew, we only ate one.

The Fried Duck soup, already discussed more eloquently than I can while mutitasking (god bless conference calls), was everything it's cracked up to be, too.

Yes, we had way more food than we could eat!

[edited to add this:]

OH! And service -- fantastic, friendly, helpful, yeah!

Edited by rmockler (log)

Richard W. Mockler

Seattle

I will, in fact, eat anything once.

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