Wrappers delight

illustration by mark stivers

Bánh Xèo 46A

7837 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA

Traditionally, the word crepe describes a thin French pancake used to wrap savory or sweet ingredients such as fruit, meat or chocolate. But another type of crepe is popular in Vietnamese (bánh xèo) and Cambodian cuisine (banh chao). Southeast Asia’s favorite crepe—filled with savory ingredients—gets an additional wrapping. This yellow pancake is made with rice flour and turmeric, filled with meat (usually pork and shrimp) and vegetables (bean sprouts, green onion) and then is fried. Later, at the table, people break this pancake into pieces, garnish it with cilantro and mint, wrap it in lettuce, and dip it in fish sauce. Bánh Xèo 46A (7837 Stockton Boulevard, Suite 700; (916) 476-4895; http://banhxeo46a.com), a new restaurant in south Sacramento, takes it up a notch by providing rice-paper spring-roll wrappers. This makes it a triple wrap: the crepe itself, the lettuce wrap and the spring-roll wrapper. It’s a refreshing summer roll.