I happened to come across Tan Dinh purely by accident and decided to try it out since I like Vietnamese food. It looks like a hole-in-the-wall dive that people may overlook but it has a good number of regulars who frequent the place. The decor feels like an old diner for the 1970s that hasn’t been updated with booths. I wasn’t expected fine dining at this place so it fit in around its surroundings.
I was in the mood for some good pho and ventured to try what this place had to offer. I ordered the one with the works that came with meatballs, tripe and brisket. It was really quite tasty, though the broth was a bit oily for my liking. Still I know it was used to preserve the flavor. The spring rolls I ordered earlier with crab sauce was well done. Everyone enjoyed that appetizer quite a lot.
I wouldn’t call it the best Vietnamese experience I have had but there is a homely charm to the place. I guess with all the great restaurants in New Orleans, people expect everything to have the same type of caliber. This isn’t the case as Tan Dinh caters to the everyday crowd. Also, it is about 20 minutes out of the downtown New Orleans so it is away from all the tourists. The people that dine here are locals or from the nearby university.
My only concern with the place is the cleanliness. Sometimes things look like it needs a good scrubbing but for the most part it is acceptable for dining. I guess some things from the 1970s just couldn’t get clean enough. Thank goodness the food is more than decent to satisfy the appetite.