Than Nhi is my favorite restaurant in Austin. I eat there at least once a week, and the Pork Paste Spring Roll (number 1B) is the single most delightful food item in the world.
Than Nhi from 03/26/2008:
We decided to take a break from the taco lunches and head over to Thanh Nhi this afternoon. It took a lot of will power not to go to our standby joint, Tan My (formerly Tan Tan), for our Pho cravings, but we had to check this place out after hearing the internet rumblings about the tasty Banh Mi sandwiches. The restaurant is located (hidden) just south of Rundberg on Lamar in a huge strip mall on the west side of the street. When we walked in there were two obvious signs this was going to be an excellent meal 1) The smells were amazing 2) We were one of the only caucasian groups in the joint.
For our main course we both went for the grilled pork and egg roll vermicelli bowl (#61). We both love this dish at Tan My, so we had to see how Thanh Nhi staked up. The answer is, quite well. The vermicelli was fresh and plentiful, loaded with fresh herbs and cucumbers and topped with a mountain of grilled pork and two huge egg rolls that were filled to the brim with meat. This dish is just as good, if not a tad bit better than Tan My, which is very impressive. Add this to the fact that they take credit cards, the service is super attentive and friendly and they have amazing Bahn Mi, and I think we have found our new Vietnamese hangout. Now get you ass over there! But not on Mondays, they're closed.
Thanh Nhi - 4.5 Stars - jarod
9200 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753 (512) 834-1736
UPDATE: Jarod and I were so focused on the Banh Mi that we failed to order any springrolls on our first trip. IMHO the simple shrimp and pork spring roll is a powerful indicator as to how good a Vietnamese restaurant will be.
I returned to Than Nhi today because I couldn't get the thunderously good pork/eggroll vermicelli bowl out of my mind. I also took the opportunity to order some spring rolls. I am pleased to report that they are excellent. They are fresh, pliable, delicious and delightful.
Run, don't walk. - Cornbiter Deluxe