Monday, May 11, 2009

Saigon - Jackson

There’s an old business adage, you can have it 1. cheap 3. good, but you can only have two of the three. Apparently, the owners of Saigon never heard that maxim.

Inconspicuously located next to a gas station on Lakeland Avenue, Saigon does business out of an old fast food restaurant. Don’t let the sealed drive thru window discourage you, the owners have given the place a comfortable atmosphere, besides the building gives the restaurant real character.

At Saigon, the key to a reasonably priced and tasty lunch is a bowl of phô.

I elected to go with a #3 phô, or phô tái nam,. Essentially a bowl of beef broth and rice noodles, the phô tái nam features eye round steak and well done brisket. In addition to the massive bowl of beef, broth & noodles, I was given a plate of dressings for the phô

Once I had added the bean sprouts and a little sriracha, I was ready to attack the bowl, and what a bowl. It may just be a simple broth, but the phô at Saigon is top notch. Needless to say, they didn’t skimp on the meat or noodles, as I had enough to last me to the very end.

Being an overzealous eater, I had decided I had to have some eggsrolls as well.

Chá giò or Vietnamese eggrolls are made of shrimp, pork, black mushrooms, onions, and carrots, all wrapped up and deep fried.

Armed with a combination of sriracha (rooster sauce) and soy sauce, I bypassed the sweet dipping sauce that came with the eggrolls and forged ahead with my own.

With a cross section, you can really see what makes up a Vietnamese eggroll at Saigon. The meat is so finely ground that only carrot and the smallest piece of mushroom are visible. The only downside to these eggrolls is they have a tendency to turn mushy at lightning speed, but when they’re hot and crispy, they are a real treat.

Like the Thai House, Saigon has a monopoly on their cuisine in Jackson. That’s not to say that either restaurant is slacking. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed almost everything on the Saigon menu, and it holds its ground against almost every other Vietnamese restaurants I’ve tried. Regardless, how can someone not enjoy the fact that a bowl of phô that size only costs $6.50?

For part 2 of Saigon, please click here

Saigon Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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