Thursday, September 27, 2007

Saigon Remembered


Saigon Remembered
5857 York Road
Belvedere Square/Govans, Baltimore
Vietnamese
410-435-1200
Cost: $$
Reservations: Not Needed
Date of meal: Wednesday September 26, 2007 (7pm)
National Price-Quality Frontier: Inside It
Baltimore Price-Quality Frontier: On It

Saigon Remembered has a lot in common with Cafe Zen down the street. Both offer good but standard American versions of Asian (Vietnamese and Chinese, respectively) cuisine in a market without much competition.

Saigon Remembered is housed in a large space with high ceilings. It is far from fancy, but not unpleasant or dirty. Furniture, flooring, utensils, and such are all functional but no more. They have a full bar and several Southeast Asian beers (Singha from Thailand and 33 from Vietnam). Service was helpful and prompt.

The menu includes pretty standard Vietnamese fare like bun (steamed rice noodles) and lots of stir-fries with lemongrass and basil. The two main points of departure are a sushi menu (complete with a sushi bar; I didn't try it but it seemed like a weird add-on to me) and a "roll" menu. The rolls are not sushi but instead are the fresh spring rolls typically found in Vietnamese restaurants. My spouse and I (particularly my spouse) are big fans of these. Unlike other restaurants, there are about a dozen options for rolls, with a variety of meat and seafood options. Some of these are quite creative, like the salmon roll.

We stuck to standards. We ordered a pair of fresh spring rolls with beef (either $5 or $6), which was very good. The nuoc cham (fish dipping) sauce was great; the peanut sauce only so-so. We had a bun ($12) with grilled pork and fried spring rolls which was outstanding. The pork was served still on the skewers on which it was grilled. This was quite good. The basil tofu stir-fry ($12) we had was fine but did not wow me. These prices are roughly 40% more than comparable cities with more Vietnamese immigrants (e.g., Seattle). I also noted that many entrees had higher prices in the $13-$17 range.

In the absence of serious competition, I would be happy to eat there again if I wanted Vietnamese food. Take-out would also be a good option if you live nearby. I probably would not recommend it to anyone who had to drive more than 15 minutes to get there. Honestly, the prices seemed high to me, even for Baltimore.

26 comments:

John said...

I did like Saigon Remembered the last few times I went. A friend of mine got this "Vietnamese steak" which I tried. It was VERY good. Next time I go back I am getting that. And I just moved very close by to it, so that may come sooner than later!

xiao zhu said...

the selection here of viet restaurants is seriously lacking. saigon remembered is good, but nothing to write home about. and i agree with you, overpriced. a bowl of pho is ~$10, which is kind of unheard of.

Hon said...

I think Saigon Remembered is awful, I have had way better Viet food in Columbia. I once found a metal shard in my food at Saigon and they just shrugged it off. Never again!

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Wow! Realmente aprecio el pensamiento que usted pone en este artículo. El tema ha sido algo que he estado buscando en unas pocas horas y su blog es uno de los mejores que he leído.

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