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Forget hamburgers for a moment. Here’s a beef dish you can believe in, even at a place like Lotus Cafe, which casts a wider net than your average tuna fisherman. Seriously, a Vietnamese restaurant that serves calamari fries, coconut shrimp, and a Sex on the Beach cocktail?  Is this place channeling Saigon or Cancun?

It’s best to go simple here. Order the large pho with eye of round ($7.50), which Lotus does very well. The broth is as fragrant as a spice house and packs plenty of beef flavor. Lotus’ eye of round is sliced thin, which makes for some succulent eating once the meat has been seasoned by the broth. Lotus also dumps a rice paddy’s worth of vermicelli into its soup, far too much for the kind of balance I prefer, but the noodles make for fine slurping, particularly on Lotus’ outdoor patio with the gorgeous view of…the Red Line.