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Dong Phuong Bakery
“Everything that’s savory has to have a pinch of sweet and everything that’s sweet has to have a pinch of savory.” That’s the motto of Huong Tran. She opened Dong Phuong Bakery in the early 1980s, after a short run of cooking and selling classical Vietnamese baked goods out of her home. She operated out of the professional kitchen of her mother-in-law, owner of Dong Phuong Oriental Restaurant, one of the first Vietnamese eateries in the Greater New Orleans area.
Tran’s father ran a bakery in Sóc Trăng, Vietnam, where she learned the art of making moon cakes, flaky pastries filled with mung-bean paste and a salted duck egg yolk. A few years later, her husband, De Tran, tinkered until he came up with the perfect bánh mì loaf, the traditional Vietnamese French-style bread. That loaf launched the Bakery’s sandwich counter, which now offers seventeen different types of sandwiches, stuffed with everything from French cold cuts (#1) to barbecue chicken (#9) and Chinese sausage (#17).
More recently, Dong Phuong has become regionally known for their king cakes, the brioche-style pastry ring served throughout the Carnival season. The traditionally-sweet cakes come slathered in cream cheese, here: sweet with a pinch of savory.