By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano
Arlington | Vietnamese | $$
Not much has changed at the 30-plus-year-old Vietnamese restaurant, Nam-Viet, and no one is mad about that. But when there is an addition to the menu, it must mean it’s something good. The baby back ribs are a phenom: deep fried and lacquered with a sweet fish sauce, they are a carnivorous showpiece, meant to be eaten with the hands, to gnaw at the bone, to lick fingers, to let sticky sauce collect at the corners of the mouth. There is no way to be delicate around a display like this.
Of course, there are other treasures: the bubbly-fried crispy spring rolls; hu tien, a clear rice noodle soup, clean and aromatic; grilled short ribs where the char is so lovely and deep, eating the strips of fat even seems like a good idea.
Need a wake up from the pending coma? Order the Vietnamese iced coffee, which, for $1 more, comes complete with ice cubes born from cold-brew coffee. It’s an iced drink that actually gets stronger over time because sleep just means less time for eating. // 1127 N. Hudson St., Arlington