346 Bedford Avenue
(Near South 3rd Street)
Brooklyn NY, 11211
Our Rating: ★ ★ ★
Cards: Cash Only
Hours: Mondays from 12-10 pm, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 6-10 pm
Booze: Beer and wine
Subway: L to Bedford Ave., J,M,Z to Marcy Ave.
Menu: Click Here
NY Mag says:
A few days a week, An Nguyen Xuan, a Vietnamese chef who was born and raised in France takes over Simple Café in Williamsburg and operates it as Bep (meaning “Kitchen” in Vietnamese): “I serve Vietnamese staple dishes like pho, bánh mì, bun, and fried spring rolls.” There are also specials, like caramelized pork belly with pickled bean sprouts. Xuan is using natural ingredients and hoping to offer an alternative to current Vietnamese restaurants, which she says are sometimes too expensive and use too much MSG. Hmmm. We have yet to encounter these expensive Vietnamese joints, but if she claims hers is cheaper and better, we’ll see her soon!
TAGS: Bedford, Cheap, Delivery, Recommended, Restaurants, South Williamsburg, Vietnamese, ★★★ Good
In January, An Nguyen Xuan opened Bep, which means “kitchen” in Vietnamese, at the Simple Café in Williamsburg. At first, the concept was confined to Mondays, restaurants’ day of doldrums. But the experiment proved so popular that last month Bep expanded its hours to Thursday through Saturday nights. Mr. Xuan’s food tends to the Hanoi style, which uses herbs and spices more subtly than its southern counterpart. Texture is key. Cha gio ($4.50), fried spring rolls, are chubby with pork and mushrooms, their rice-paper skins crisp and bubbled without being oily. A steamed rice crepe is tucked around crunchy pork and silky Vietnamese ham ($10). Many of the brief menu’s supplemental specials deserve to be staples, like the catfish, coppery with turmeric and aromatic with dill, atop vermicelli ($10), and a tangy salad of mango, cabbage and banana blossoms ($9). But the pho ($8) lacks character, and the banh mi ($5.50) are filled with too gentle a hand. Still, it’s rare at this price to find such exquisite details as the dried sour plum bobbing among the mint leaves in the house-made lime soda ($3).