Last week I was CRAVING Vietnamese food. I don't know how to make it, and whenever I go back to visit my dad we go out to eat somewhere non-Viet. Ba Le has been my saving grace ever since I've moved out. Sometimes pho isn't going to do it, and I need some fish sauce over bowl of rice or noodles. Located across the street from Wintergreen Plaza on the Pike, there are only a few spaces around the restaurant, but more parking in the vicinity. The closest metro stop would be Rockville on the red line.
This is pretty much the view of the whole place, with a table or two on the right cut out of the frame. The walls are painting bright green and orange, but its a really cozy place.
Along the wall is their drink selection. There's sodas, coconut juice, teas, etc. I'm a huge fan of chrysanthemum tea and the basil seed drink. As a kid I used to pretend they were tadpole eggs.
They also have a small retail shelf where you can buy coffee, dried fruit, candy, hot sauce, etc. I have that exact brand of coffee at home.
Speaking of coffee, I always have to get a 'Vietnamese Iced Coffee' for $2.75 when eat Vietnamese food. They have the mixture already made, add ice and seal the top for you. I think this makes the process faster and more travel-ready, however I don't think its as strong.
The bf ordered a 'Banh Mi Xa Xui(Barbeque Pork Sandwich' for $3. He's not a fan of the traditional Banh Mi Thit that has pate, headcheese, and ham in it, but this one he liked a lot.
I ordered the 'Com Thit Nuong (Grilled Lemongrass Pork on Rice)' for $7. It was so good. The rice was fluffy, the meat very tender and had great flavor. Really satisfied my craving...I ate every single grain of rice.
The bottle of fish sauce on the table was huge, but I used a lot of it on my rice and pork. Vietnamese food doesn't taste complete without it, in my opinion. That's like having Korean food without kim chi or fries without ketchup.
The place is very laid back. You order and pay up at the register. It is self-seating with utensils on a shelf near the window. Someone will bring your food out to you, and its usually very fast. The menu consists of rice, rice noodles, grilled meats, seafood, soups, sandwiches and rice crepes. Food is affordable because nothing costs over $9.75. Bring cash unless you plan on spending over $10.
842 Rockville Pike #A
Rockville, MD 20852