The Queen's Danh Tu Banh Tran Tram Is a Mouthful of Yum
This weekend we finally ventured over to Smorgasburg on a hunch that the monstrous crowds that had attended the market's opening had finally abated. They had, and we ate a bunch of stuff.
Among our favorites was the banh tran tram at Queen's Danh Tu. As was previously noted, Queen's Danh Tu is the latest project from Liza Queen, the erstwhile proprietor of the much-loved Queen's Hideaway. After closing her Greenpoint restaurant in 2008, Queen decamped for Vietnam, where she spent a stretch of time studying the country's cuisine.
Queen's Danh Tu is the result of the chef's travels, and the banh tran tram is one of three items on its menu. Priced at $7, it's a concoction of shredded rice paper, fried shallots, shredded mango, peanuts, and hard-boiled quail eggs. It's an apt accompaniment to a hot summer day, light and refreshing and endowed with bright, balanced, sweet-salty flavors.
That said, it would benefit from a bit more textural variety: Aside from the crunch of the peanuts, all of the ingredients meld together into a squidgy mass. It's certainly not unpleasant, but it is a bit monotonous. And the price is a shade high, considering that its major ingredient, rice paper, isn't wildly expensive.
Still, we'd happily eat it again, and hope to do so sooner than later.
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