Best Vietnamese Coffee (2003)

T-Wa Inn

There are a lot of things to love about the T-Wa Inn. In season, it serves great soft-shell crabs, breaded and fried in butter. When the kitchen isn't going nuts with the mint, it makes a great spring roll. And on a good night, the stuffed quail is worth killing for. But there's one thing T-Wa does perfectly every time: Vietnamese coffee. Just stepping through the doors is like walking off a plane and straight into a foreign cafe, making T-Wa the ideal spot for a lunch-break vacation. Watching the thick, strong French coffee drip through the battered filter on top of your glass forces your mind and body to slow down, to adjust to a different tempo. Smelling the rich brew as it slowly fills the glass, mixing in the sweetened condensed milk, pouring the coffee over ice and listening to the cubes crack -- it's like a half-hour of Zen relaxation therapy all for a buck and a half. One taste and we're already gone.


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