The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene
LI's first Vietnamese restaurant opens in Farmingdale
Long Islanders hankering for a bowl of authentic pho or a true banh mi sandwich have cause to celebrate: The Rolling Spring Roll opened Wednesday in Farmingdale. This is the first full-fledged Vietnamese eatery Long Island has had since the brief but glorious Bethpage run of Maxia, from 1996 to 1997.
Chef owner Joe Bui, who had a Melville food truck of the same name, is assisted by his mother, Hien Bui, whom he calls his inspiration as well as the source of many recipes. Bui also formerly cooked at the former West East Bistro in Hicksville.
The Farmingdale spot is small, spare and neat, with tropical green walls and bamboo wainscotting. Order at the counter and your food is delivered to you.
The menu is brief and to the point: fried spring rolls (four for $3), cold summer rolls (two for $5), three rice-noodle soups (pho, $7.95 to $8.95), three Vietnamese sandwiches (banh mi, $5.95 to $6.95) and seven grilled dishes over rice noodle (bun) or steamed rice, $7.95 to $9.95.
Freshness is a byword here; everything is made to order. Summer rolls, wrapped in pliable rice paper, are stuffed with plump shrimp and slices of pork, along with rice vermicelli, cucumber and fresh mint and cilantro. The herbs, and many of the vegetables, are grown in Hien Bui's garden.
The pork banh mi is made with house-made pork sausage and house-roasted pork belly, garnished with carrots, cucumbers, hot sauce and more of Ms. Bui's vibrant cilantro.
The Rolling Spring Roll is at 189 Main St., Farmingdale, 631-609-5182.