Yesterday, I was all about eating oodles and oodles of noodles. Primo and I started our day eating lunch at a local noodle shop, Saigon Noodles. Check out their menu.
We first ordered the marinated pork with vermicelli noodles (Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio) as an appetizer. It’s a good-sized plate of noodles, lettuce, daikon, cucumber served with thinly sliced and slightly sweet, smokey pork. It’s accompanied with a dipping sauce, Nuoc Mam Cham, a balance of salt, acid, and heat. It’s a Vietnamese condiment consisting of fish sauce, sugar, chilies, lime and vinegar. Andrea Nguyen has a great recipe on her website.
The word around town is that this is the spot to get the best pho. Who can resist a bowl of hearty soup with a meaty beef stock made from boiling beef bones with charred onions, ginger, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise. You choose your preference in meat and cut of meat from eye of round steak to chicken to beef ball. I chose to get the Pho with brisket and beef flank steak (Pho Chin Nam). The tender slices of beef really soak up the rich beef broth. You can’t eat pho without adding the veggies and spice. Add a little of everything. They give you a large platter with bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime, cilantro, cabbage, and jalapeños. I also request lettuce, which adds extra crunch and chilies in oil for a smokey spicy note. I can’t eat this soup without the heat. The combo of spice, veggies, meat and noodles makes it a complex and addictive soup.
Primo decided to venture a little from the traditional pho soup. It’s a noodle soup (Bun Bo Hue) like pho, but the broth is very different. It reminds us of Tom Yum, a Thai soup, with lemongrass being the predominate flavor profile. It’s never too spicy for Preem. He’s been told by Laos and Thai people that he eats hotter than they do and I believe it. He added extra fresh thai chilies and the chili paste to meet his heat preference.
I have to say that after eating at Saigon Noodle we are sold on their pho. It is our new favorite to satisfy our pho craving. I don’t think we will abandon our favorite date night spot, the Mae Sone Noodle House, but we will definitely make a second visit.
One last tidbit. Saigon Noodles doesn’t have a corking fee nor do they have a liquor license, but you can bring your beverage of choice to accompany your meal. I think we will definitely go equipped next time with wine and two glasses in tote.
KFP aka The Farmer’s Daughter