Present Restaurant - A Vietnamese treat in strip mall central
(pictured, Country Road vermicelli bowl with pork, and crispy duck with orange sauce)
In celebration of the release of Tom Sietsema’s (Georgetown SFS’83) 2009 Fall Dining Guide, we headed to Present, in Falls Church. Along with Kelly and Greg, Liz and I had a fantastic dining experience.
Present is not the kind of place you will stumble upon, as it is tucked into one of the myriad strip malls just west of Seven Corners on Route 50, but if you find yourself there, you’re extremely likely to make your way back. I know that we will!
Vietnamese is a cuisine that I enjoy, but not one that I consider myself an expert on (outside the occasional Pho jaunt), but almost everything we had was quite tasty.
We started off with a green papaya salad, which was divine, and an order of autumn rolls, much like a crispy spring roll, but less greasy.
Entrees included a crispy duck with orange sauce, two noodle bowls (one with beef and one with pork), and one vegetarian entree — I think it was “Haystack in the Field, but I can’t remember for sure. The noodle bowl that I had was a mix of great flavors and textures, the grilled pork was perfectly cooked yet tender, and the veggies deliciously fresh and crisp.
For dessert, we finished with a winter roll, which was a revelation, with frozen tropical fruits wrapped in a deep fried spring roll, and an eclair-like filling. Describing the flavors comes nowhere near to what an awesome flavor combination it was.
The only disappointment of the evening was the other dessert we ordered, frozen banana fritters, which were a bit too mushy, and tasted like your average funnel cake with a banana on the inside.
One of the best parts of the evening was the price. For the four of us, two apps, four entrees, two desserts, and a bottle of wine came to $100 before tip.
I know for DC folks, Falls Church may seem like quite a trip, but if you’re heading out to Home Depot or find yourself out on 7 or 50 for any reason, I highly recommend making the stop!