Gay men cannot live on fine dining alone. And because we consider ourselves hole experts, whether of the in-the-wall or other varieties, we feel it’s our civic duty to bring your attention to lesser known eateries.
Recently, a friend told us about a Vietnamese restaurant that’s one of her all-time favorites. It’s called Ba Le #1 and it’s hidden in a nondescript strip center in East Dallas. It was so good on our first visit that we went back again two days later only to fall in love even harder.
The place is small, but clean and well lit. Depending on the night, you may or may not find someone there who speaks English, but if you put your index finger to good use and point, it’s pretty easy to order. We also pulled out our iPhone for a picture of our arch nemesis, Cilantro, in an effort to get the concept across that we didn’t want the vile weed anywhere near our food.
If you’re a fan of pho, theirs is among the best we’ve tasted. Best of all, no bowl of the multi-dimensional broth is over $6. Accompanied by lime, sprouts, fresh jalapeños (and cilantro if you’re so inclined), it’s the ideal cold-weather meal. For an additional dollar, you can upgrade to a large.
Egg rolls and spring rolls are freshly prepared to order. Bún (rice vermicelli) is also fantastic, specifically the grilled pork. We even ventured out and ordered beef (something we typically steer clear of in smaller joints), but the Basil Beef Flat Noodle (#31) was tender, juicy and expertly prepared.
So trust us and give Ba Le #1 a try. We’re pretty sure you’ll be amazed at both the food and the prices. Not to mention immediate street cred.
Ba Le #1
11404 Shiloh Road (at Barnes Bridge Road), Suite 101, Dallas