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Vietnamese Pop-up Café May Be a Cure for the Mondays

Caramelized braised pork belly.

Caramelized braised pork belly.Photo: Bep

Could the one-day-a-week restaurant become a trend? (Actually, in addition to Frugal Fridays, Craft is trying out Thrifty Thursdays this week, too.) An Nguyen Xuan, a Vietnamese chef who was born and raised in France, tells us that every Monday, she’s taking over relative newcomer Simple Café in Williamsburg and operating it as Bep (meaning “Kitchen” in Vietnamese): “I serve Vietnamese staple dishes like pho, bánh mì, bun, and fried spring rolls.” There are also specials, like last week’s caramelized pork belly with pickled bean sprouts. Xuan is using natural ingredients and hoping to offer an alternative to current Vietnamese restaurants, which she says are sometimes too expensive and use too much MSG. Hmmm. We have yet to encounter these expensive Vietnamese joints, but if she claims hers is cheaper and better, we’ll see her next Monday!

Bep, Mondays at Simple Café, • 346 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, nr. S. 3rd St; 718-218-7067

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