DooWee & Rice, on the outskirts of the Tufts campus, has a downright perfect location. Had this Vietnamese-inspired, fast-food joint existed in my college town, I might never have set foot in a dining hall. Spicy, crispy, savory, garlicky, and addictive seem applicable descriptions for most of what’s coming out of the tiny kitchen.
Owner Duy (pronounced DooWee, hence the restaurant name) Tran, 25, is barely older than the students who fill his 22-seat, counter-service restaurant. Born in Hong Kong to Vietnamese parents who moved to California when he was very young, Tran has been in Boston since he was 8. There is nothing traditionally Vietnamese here except the noodle bowls. He uses Cajun spices with a lot of food, rice dishes are accompanied by chimichurri and pita, but his Southeast Asian flavor profiles influence a lot of the food.