Welcome to the first of an on-going series we’re calling “Raleigh Meal Deals” where we scour the city looking for delicious meals that will fill you up without emptying your wallet. We’re talking deals from $5-15 per person!
Our first deal we are excited to share with you comes from Mo-Te Vietnamese Authentic Cuisines located in the Tarrymore Square shopping center on Capital Boulevard (Northeast Raleigh). Note: When putting the address into your GPS or smart phone search for the intersection of Capital Boulevard and New Hope Church Road. The restaurant is actually located on the far end of the shopping center facing New Hope Church Road.
We came upon Mo-Te when we were hungry for Banh Mi and researched on Yelp for ideas. Mo-Te was on the top of the list with 4 out of 5 stars and after reading some of the reviews we decided to check it out. The restaurant is simple, no fancy frills, with a few tables so it seems like they have more of a to-go customer base but the warm greeting from the employees made us feel invited to dine-in for lunch. We love these little spots because these small mom-and-pop shops tend to have the most authentic items.
Mo-Te’s menu offers the basic items you would find at other Vietnamese spots in the area: fresh spring rolls, Banh Mi with several options for meats, pho, soups, rice plates and vermicelli plates. Can’t forget the bubble teas either – they come in two sizes!
We started off our lunch with the Shrimp and Pork Spring Rolls for $4.80. Each order includes 3 decent sized rolls with peanut dipping sauce.
As you can see in the first picture, the rolls are well prepared and offer a great fresh flavor from the herbs and vegetables rolled inside. The sauce added the right balance of sweetness complimenting the well seasoned pork. Many of the fresh spring rolls we’ve had at other restaurants are heavy on the rice noodle filling which can make you feel as if you are getting a deal but Mo-Te’s spring rolls are bursting with flavor because their meat to filling ratio is well portioned. Bonus: You get 3 rolls per order where most places only do 2.
Next is the item we had been waiting for – the Banh Mi. We ordered a Chicken and BBQ Pork – each were served with cucumber, picked carrots and cabbage and a spring of cilantro. These came in at just $3.75 each.
The sandwiches arrived wrapped in a small paper bag nestled in a tray, we removed them to show you the entire sandwich in the pic above. After the first bite we knew we would definitely be back for more. The roll had a wonderful crust with a beautifully fluffy inside that held up well to the meat and pickled juices. The chicken was perfectly seasoned and the BBQ pork was nicely marinated – both cooked well enough to hold in flavor without losing too much moisture. The vegetables were fresh and added a nice crunchy texture while the sprig of cilantro brightened up and intensified the lightly pickled carrots and cabbage. Our editor even said at the end of the meal, “I’m so sad this is the last bite!”
We also ordered two bubble teas ($4.00 each) to go along with our sandwiches – one avocado (pictured above with Banh Mi) and one honeydew. The avocado was made with perfectly ripened fruit and had a nice creaminess which allowed for the natural flavors to come out. Now some people LOVE sweet bubble teas – this one is not sweet, just really tasty and refreshing. The honeydew on the other hand had a sweetness to it that most people would be familiar with; but still tasted fresh and light.
The total for our bill (1 appetizer, 2 sandwiches and 2 specialty drinks) was $23.96 after tax or $11.98 per person. This would have been even more wallet friendly if we had skipped the appetizer or had fountain drinks instead of bubble teas! Our verdict – this is one spot you don’t want to miss!
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Mo-Te Vietnamese Authentic Cuisines
3901 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27604 (GPS: Intersection of Capital Blvd & New Hope Church Road)
Best Deal: $3.75 Banh Mi
Hours of Operation: Monday (11am-9pm), Tues (Closed), Weds-Sat (11am-9pm), Sun (9am-8pm)
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