If you're heading to Bún-Ker in Ridgewood, order the chili mackerel banh mi, split the crisp banh xeo with a friend, and order this Coconut Tapioca Pudding ($3) for dessert. Bite for bite it's my favorite dish on the menu.
The tapioca pearls are sized on the order of Israeli couscous. They're cooked with care, just tender enough to drink up the lightly sweetened coconut broth. Dig deeper with your spoon to find curls of green coconut, juicy jackfruit, and chewy palm seeds—an ingredient common in Southeast Asian desserts but rarely found stateside. Dress this dessert up a bit, maybe "deconstruct" its soupy elements, and you wouldn't be surprised to find it for three times the price on a fancier menu. But here it's a simple and satisfying sweet bowl you'd be happy to fork over three dollars for—if you're already near Ridgewood.
46-63 Metropolitan Avenue, Ridgewood, NY 11385 (map) 718-386-4282