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Chowdown at Saigon - San Diego

Alice Q | Apr 8, 2008 11:00 AM

Gathered on Sunday afternoon with some fellow food lovers and posters including Josh and Geekyfoodie for a Vietnamese feast at Saigon in City Heights. My impression of this place is that it's not necessarily the BEST Vietnamese food, but it's reliable and pretty decent - it seems to be a family stand-by for a lot of people. It certainly is affordable.

We started with some spring and summer rolls (Dao Son's are better) - some with pork and shrimp, some with pork meatballs and one with chinese sausage and egg. I wasn't crazy about the last one - it had a flavor I really didn't like. I loved the grilled beef wrapped in grape leaves though, and my usual favorite, the Grilled Pork with Shrimp - this time with the vermicelli rice pads instead of the bowl of bun - easier to wrap in the lettuce. The tangy sweet broth from the seafood soup was very tasty, though the seafood itself was meh. Krab, iodine-y shrimp, some calamari, etc. I also wasn't crazy about the beef wrapped in caul fat - it tasted a little rancid to me. I also liked the Mixed Meat Stir Fry with Broad Rice Noodles - No. 198. Lots of broccoli and bok choy mixed in with the meat. A little greasy, but good. Also had a Cafe Sua Da - K Sandwiches makes them better. The coffee here wasn't quite as fresh.

I love that they give you abundant mint, lettuce and sauces, and I saw lots of options on the 300+ item menu I'd like to go back and try. I've put some pictures up on my flickr page They're also in the Dining Out set.

Amazingly, the bill with tax and tip for all of this, for the eight or so of us who were there, was only about $15. per person. You really can't beat that - especially in these "budget crunch" times!

p.s. - if you're not familiar with Vietnamese food - I recommend this - a great primer!

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