Step inside Banana Blossom Bistro! Photo by Susan Sargent
Got a sneak peek inside Banana Blossom Bistro – Riverdale Park’s soon-to-open, highly anticipated, authentic Vietnamese restaurant – and was smitten with pretty much everything. The allergy-friendly and kid-friendly menu serves up delicious Vietnamese treats for all like Mama Anh’s Pho, Gardener’s Pho, Pork Banh Mi sandwiches, Lemongrass Beef Vermicelli and more. Banana Blossom Bistro is working hard on some finishing touches and will open soon. In the meantime, enjoy this sneak peek of this new Vietnamese restaurant located at the nexus of Hyattsville, Riverdale Park and University Park, Maryland.
Allergy-Friendly Vietnamese Food at Banana Blossom Bistro, Riverdale Park
While touring Banana Blossom Bistro’s kitchen, I marveled at its size – so big it was almost like there were two separate kitchens for the same restaurant. Turns out, I’m even smarter than I thought; 😆 there are indeed two kitchens! As parents of a child with a severe egg allergy and thus familiar with the perils of cross-contamination, Annie and Phil designed Banana Blossom Bistro to mirror their mission of “prioritiz[ing] diner safety, engaging with and supporting any guests that request ordering assistance, especially those with dietary restrictions.”
Annie and her beautiful children!
Along with the use of separate equipment and preparation space for allergy-sensitive meals, all of the staff are trained on the Allertrain system before they begin serving folks at the restaurant. The menus expressly note any food allergen ingredients. I almost welled-up hearing about all that they’re doing to make Banana Blossom Bistro truly a place where all can comfortable come to an enjoy a delicious, worry-free Vietnamese meal.
Mmm, hot soup and a smoothie!
Pho, Noodles, Banh Mi, Vietnamese Salads & more at Banana Blossom Bistro, Riverdale Park
So, what to look forward to on the menu at Banana Blossom Bistro? Erm – Did you not just read the heading above?!? Pretty much everything! Seriously though, local lady Susan Sargent was treated to some lunch at Banana Blossom Bistro recently and shared that the “food was amazing!” Based on her pictures, certainly appears to be the case!
Vermicelli Bowl with Shrimp & Chicken
📷: Susan Sargent
Kid-Friendly Vietnamese Food at Banana Blossom Bistro, Riverdale Park
When I asked Annie about the kids menu at Banana Blossom Bistro, I was keeping my fingers crossed behind my back, hoping that she wasn’t going to rattle off a predictable menu of french fries, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese and such. Sure, I love that greasy stuff as much as the next person (and usually polish off my kids’ plates 😮), but I was thinking of how great it would be for a restaurant’s kids’ menu to actually just be a slight variation of what they offer the adults. Enter Banana Blossom Bistro’s Little Blossoms’ Menu, replete with many of the same choices as the main menu, but smaller portions and the experience to know that toppings like cilantro or pickled daikon are not necessarily for every kiddo.
Brisket Pho. Photo by Susan Sargent
Annie also shared that they have ordering devices available for those who wish to sit down first and then place a food and drink order (read: all parents whose kids go bonkers when you wait in line…). All you have to do is collect your food once it’s ready! 👏
Local Love at Banana Blossom Bistro, Riverdale Park
One look around the bright and airy Banana Blossom Bistro and you’ll notice that all of the wooden tabletops are beautifully custom-made – and now you know by whom! Annie shared that after she became acquainted with the great work of Hyattsville’s Forty Third Place, she knew she wanted Blake and his crew to design and make the custom tabletops and benches for Banana Blossom Bistro.
Blake of Forty Third Place, creating masterpieces for Banana Blossom Bistro
Photo by Banana Blossom Bistro
Speaking of wood, you’ll also notice one table reminiscent of the work of University Park’s Alex Heitkemper. And that would be because Alex created this custom tabletop for Banana Blossom Bistro:
Photo (& tabletop) by Alex Heitkemper.
In Riverdale Park’s Banana Blossom Bistro, local owners (neighbors and friends) Annie and Phil Esguerra have clearly poured their heart and soul into creating a restaurant that not only serves delicious Vietnamese cuisine but does so in a way that’s mindful, safe and accessible for all with dietary restrictions. 💓
Banana Blossom Bistro is located at 6202 Rhode Island Ave, Riverdale Park, Maryland 20737 (Right by the Riverdale Park Farmers Market, across from Town Center Market and adjacent to Bikram Yoga Works – in case you do better with landmarks. 😉)
Once open, operating hours will be Monday – Friday, 11 am-9pm, Sunday 11am – 7pm.