Dong Phuong Oriental Restaurant & Bakery

Dong Phuong has to be the best kept secret in New Orleans.  Just a short ride down Hwy 90 towards the Irish Bayou sits this unassuming restaurant located in what was once a motel.  The restaurant itself features traditional Vietnamese food that can be found in any Vietnamese home.  Every dish from the pho to a hot pot fish dish is authentic to the core.

Every time I visit Dong Phuong,  I always get an Avocado Smoothie.  It's just avocado, condensed milk, whole milk, and ice. It's served with tapico pearls but I typically ask for it without the pearls.  Another favorite is the French style ice coffee.  It's Cafe Du Monde coffee with condensed milk and poured over ice.  So simple but absolutely delicious.

In this blog, I am going to focus on the bakery side of the operation because let's be honest, it's quite spectacular.  Dong Phuong supplies much of the Asian markets along the Gulf Coast with an array of pastries and Vietnamese style baguettes.

Vietnamese-style baguettes
For $1.50, you can get three baguettes straight from the oven.  The baguettes are crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.  These are used in the Banh Mi or Vietnamese po' boys.  There's such a variety to choose from for the banh mi.. including bbq pork, cold meat, fish and vegetarian jambon. You wouldn't believe the quality of the meat from look at outside.  All of the meats are made on the premises and each has a very distinctive flavor.  I personally enjoy the BBQ Prok and the Meatball sandwiches. The sandwiches are dressed with a homemade aioli, pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeno, cilantro and cucumber. It's seriously some good stuff. 
I love using these baguettes for stews and soups; not to mention hot pots.  When I stop by, I typically buy about 30 baguettes.  I eat some fresh and freeze the rest.  Once they're toasted back up in the oven, you can't tell the differences.

Assortment of Savory Pastries
BBQ pork turnovers on top
In two of the cases are these heaven bites of stuffed pasteries  There like empanadas or turnovers. There are a variety that ranges from sweet to savory. From a spicy sausage to a bbq pork, these are little pockets pack a lot of flavor.  The round pastries are their baked version of a steamed bun.  Can I just say, that can be a meal into itself.  There's ground pork, some glass noodles and a whole egg packed inside. I like to peel the pastry off by the layers. It's one of those items that you savor until the very last bite. For aroun $1.50 to $2 a piece, you can't beat this with a stick.

Another of the popular savory baked goods is the BBQ pork buns.  You can find them refrigerated near all the che.  The bread is a mixture of sweet and buttery, while the meat inside is wonderfully savory.  These are my younger brother's favorite snack food.  For $2, you can get one package consisting of two buns.  Much better than any value menu out there.

Can you say this place has all your Vietnamese style desert needs?  Just the che selection is huge. Che could be described as a sweet desert soup.  Most of the time consisting of some sort of fruits, sweeten milk or coconut milk/water.  There's a wild variety offered here, but it's really best you know what you're getting into before ordering one of these.  Most have a gelatinousness texture to it, so if you're not one who likes that I would suggest you staying away.

No worries though, if you're hankering for a desert.  There are these huge buns there that one of my friends call "paris buns."  They're like giant Madeline cookies.  You know the ones that are shaped like a shell.  These have the same buttery taste.  Not to mention the variety of gummy-like candy and yucca cake.  Love the green yucca cake that they offer here.  It's super moist and tasty. And, if you're more of a traditionalist there is always that one cooler with cake slices.  Dong Phuong does it all from scratch.

Don't let the exterior of this humble building fool you.  The food is first class all the way.  The ladies in the bakery has always been nice to me.  However space is limited.  You have to have a game plan before coming inside.  Unless you come early, don't plan on browsing.  There's just enough room in the aisle for you to turn a circle and knock something over.  I usually start from one side.. pick up things I need as I make my way to the banh mi station.. then loop around to get more stuff and pay.  I send the purchases out to the car and wait until my order is called out; grab it and make the great escape.

Dong Phuong Oriental Restaurant & Bakery on Urbanspoon
Dong Phuong is always on my list of places to stop by whenever I am in the New Orleans area. For a look at the very extensive menu click here.


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