Orange County: Brodard Restaurant
The restaurant was pretty hard to find. Reviews online mentioned a 99 cent discount store, which we located just fine. But there was no sign of Brodard. We finally decided to walk into the Mall of Fortune. Lo and behold, there it was. Turns out while the Brodard cafe is facing the doors of the Mall of Fortune, the entrance to the restaurant is on the backside of the building complex.
Apparently, Goddess C is smarter than a law student, a pharmacy student, and a JHU undergrad combined because she found the restaurant with no problem.
I had Brodard during an undergrad SoCal trip when CL's mom bought some spring rolls back home. The taste of those springs rolls and that CRAZY sauce stuck with me for three years. Making it inside the actual restaurant was kind of a dream come true for me:
8:30 am may be early, but we weren't the only people with the same idea. Within half an hour, most of these tables were populated with people.
Goddess C and my sister both ordered a cup of Vietnamese coffee:
It came with a glass of hot water. It was that intense.
T went the iced coffee route:
I was more interested in the spring rolls, which are what Brodard is really known for. We ordered four kinds.
They came with three different kind of sauces:
The one at the top was for the cured beef paste rolls. The one on the lower right was for the vegetarian roll. The one on the lower left is my favorite. I call it CRACK SAUCE. It's so good that I could drink it. It's warm, delicious, and I have absolutely no idea what's in it. I would kill to find out though...
The crack sauce goes with the chao tom cuon (shrimp spring rolls):
Instead of individual shrimp, this roll is made with grilled shrimp paste:
There's also lettuce, cucumber, carrot, daikon, mint...and a green onion tail. What is so awesome about Brodard is that instead of vermicelli noodles, the spring rolls are made with crunchy fried bits. Completely unexpected and completely delicious.
The crack sauce also goes with the nem nuong cuon (pork spring rolls):
Same as the shrimp spring roll except made with grilled pork paste:
The bi chay cuon (vegetarian spring roll) was my least favorite of the four:
In addition to the veggies found in the other rolls, the vegetarian spring roll also included shredded tofu, mushroom, vermicelli, and sweet potato string:
Now, while I admit to being an avid meat eater, I've been known to enjoy vegetables every once in a while. I didn't enjoy this particular spring roll not because it was vegetarian, but because the filling tasted a bit stale to me.
We probably should have stopped with three orders of rolls, but we stubbornly pushed forward with the fourth, the nem chua cuon (cured beef paste spring rolls):
It looked like there were little pieces of chili pepper in the cured beef paste, but I didn't taste them:
Four spring rolls don't sound like a lot, but trust me, we all left feeling more than a bit full.
On our way out, we stopped by the counter to order some spring rolls to go (for the family we were staying with, not for ourselves, geez). That's when we noticed this impressive spring roll assembly line:
A whole line of people making spring rolls. How awesome is that?
Brodard really needs to expand to the Bay. Pronto. I'll be dreaming about these spring rolls and that crack sauce for a while to come.
9892 Westminster Ave
Garden Grove, CA 92844