6 of us went to 'Saigon Remembered'tonight, a fairly ordinary Vietnamese restaurant opposite The Senator Theater in Baltimore. We had talked to the woman who runs the front of the house (Trang Thi?) and asked her to plan a meal for us as if she was having a meal for guests at her home, not from the menu. all she asked us was to give her a price per person, and whether we had any food restrictions (no).
Menu: peppery spring rolls with cellophane noodles (Fair), smoky beef wrapped in grape leaves (a favorite),crunchy veg, shrimp and squid salad (very good), sauteed greens with garlic (as good as Szechuan Best), fried whole flounder wth a vinegar and hot pepper sauce(beautiful), stewed cured pork with hard boiled eggs (good enough to tempt a rabbi!), and ending up with a sort of make your own Pho: good broth bubbling over a burner, with a wide rim piled with raw shrimp, tofu, scallops, Napa and thin sliced beef. You put noodles into your bowl, and slid the raw ingredients into the broth until cooked. Yum!!
All this with hot tea, was $16 per person, plus tip!
We all agreed that this was a fine meal. Just make sure you give them 2 days notice if you do this.