To whet your appetite for The Pitch's annual Best of Kansas City issue, we're counting down our favorite Top 50 dishes each weekday until October 7.
Light and fresh, the spring rolls at the Vietnam Cafe should really be called summer rolls. The perfect dish for when it's hot with enough vegetables that you can lie to yourself and say you're eating a salad. Just be ready to eat the whole thing after the first bite because you won't want to put these down.
The rice paper on these spring rolls is thin (but not gummy), barely keeping in the crunchy vegetables and soft vermicelli noodles inside. Salty pork and shrimp are balanced by cilantro, lettuce and chives. Fresh is the word that keeps coming to mind; these rolls set the standard for others in town.
The peanut sauce has a bit of heat and clings to the rolls, adding a delicious coating that takes the dish from very good to sublime. Although they're just a starter at the Vietnam Cafe, it's hard not to think about just eating spring rolls for dinner every time I walk in the door.
Our list so far:
No. 49: Il Parma from Bella Napoli
No. 42: Apple strudel from Grunauer
No. 40: E-Crush from Hi-Hat Coffee
No. 34: Stroud's cinnamon rolls
No. 33: Smoked Polish from Werner's