Restaurants & Bars 5

Chowdown at Saigon - San Diego

Alice Q | Apr 8, 200811:00 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 http://www.flickr.com/photos/42323675... 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietname... - a great primer!

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