Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery
Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery (Vietnamese: Đông Phương, literally "The Orient") is a Vietnamese retail and wholesale bakery, restaurant, and catering business in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is known for supplying the baguette style bread for many of the city's restaurants that offer banh mi or other sandwiches, and has its own popular banh mi counter. The bakery, along with the nearby Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church, are fixtures of the Vietnamese community in New Orleans and have survived the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It is located at 14207 Chef Menteur Highway in the "Little Vietnam" section of Eastern New Orleans. It is attached to a sit-down restaurant of the same name that serves a variety of Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, including phở, bún thịt nướng, bún riêu, and bánh hỏi.
De and Huong Tran, Vietnamese immigrants to the United States, opened Dong Phuong in 1981. Huong learned to bake pastries in her father’s bakery in Vietnam and De joined in the effort to recreate his favorite childhood foods.
Culinary role in community
The bakery's banh mi sandwiches are often referred to as Vietnamese po-boys. Guidebook author Sara Roahen refers to the bakery as the Vietnamese Leidenheimer's, because Dong Phuong supplies bread for the area's banh mi makers. The bread is also used at the restaurant Borgne and Tamarind, whose unusual banh mi offering include cured lamb belly, slow braised pork and sautéed shrimp marinated with crushed garlic and Kaffir lime leaf.
Along with fellow Vietnamese cuisine restaurants such as Phở Tàu Bay, Tân Định, Kim Sơn and Nine Roses, Dong Phuong has helped develop a loyal following in New Orleans for Vietnamese staples that includes organized fan clubs. The eateries are said to have succeeded in "weaving the cuisine into the larger Crescent City culture", including among those with no direct connection to Vietnam.
A New York Times Magazine article cast Dong Phuong among the best banh mi makers in the U.S. and one of the most unusual in the area east of downtown New Orleans on Chef Menteur Highway. A 2010 New York Times article noted that most banh mi in New Orleans are made with bread from Dong Phuong and referred to the experience of having a banh mi at Dong Phuong as "one of the signal pleasures of the American South." Some 16 varieties of the sandwich are offered.
Dong Phuong offers a variety of baked goods, including a large assortment of bánh, at its retail bakery. A counter offers sandwiches to go. The business also includes a full service restaurant in adjacent space in the same building. Dong Phuong caters, and ships wholesale in the U.S.
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-  Poppy Z. Brite FAQ
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