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Mar 4, 2001 08:38 PM

Argyle Street

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Can anyone recommend restaurants in this area? I've tried Palace of China for Chinese food, Bale Bakery for great sandwiches & bread, but have not had much luck with Vietnamese restaurants. As I'm often nearby during the week,what's good,especially for lunch?

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  1. I just discovered Hai Yen, at 1055 Argyle. It reminds me a little of an old Vietnamese favorite, Song Huong on Bdwy, which mysteriously went out of business several years ago.

    Although there are a couple of dishes that I wouldn't order again at Hai Yen, I am generally very happy with the quality of food and preparation. Some dishes are outstanding-- lemongrass chicken, catfish in clay pot, shrimp in spicy garlic paste, are some that come to mind. (Sorry I don't have the Vietnamese names of these dishes on the tip of my tongue-- just the memory of the wonderful flavors.) The Vietnamese regulars always seem to be eating something that is cooked on a little grill at the table. This dish is probably worth exploring.


    1. some suggestions:
      Sun Wah barbecue (its been mentioned a couple times on this board - baby suckling pig, duck) for chinese barbecue - I also like their simple noodles with ginger and scallions.

      thai binh for vietnamese (though the sign on the place says pho 888)

      pho hua for a big old bowl of pho for $5. Pho is pretty much the vietnamese national dish - as you can tell from every restaurant around argyle having the word pho in its name. its tucked off a parking lot off broadway just north of

      thai pastry - which is pretty good thai food - i especially like the chive dumpling appetizers.

      5 Replies
      1. re: zim

        I'm not the most knowldgable chowhound (& a terrible speller) but I can find my way around most cuisines though I admit I am lost in Vietnamese restaurants. What is Pho?

        1. re: Anne K

          First, pronunciation is half the fun. Say--or, rather, ask--"funk???" but leave off the "nk".

          It's a very comforting vietnamese soup that's pretty much an obsession (think kimchee for koreans, pasta for italians, etc). And unlike some local obsessions, this one's instantly contagious. One good bowl of pho and you're hooked for life.

          it's beef based, and contains a user-configurable number of cuts of meat and/or connective tissue (and, like most Vietnames foods, there are zillions of vegetableish things the eater can throw into--or nibble with--it). The broth seems low-key, but actually is deceptively complex if you really analyze. Star anise is one prominent flavor.

          pho is best eaten in a specialty restaurant which makes mostly pho and not much more. These are often cheap and slightly shabby, but the soup is almost invariably made with the utmost care. Even lousy pho is pretty good.

          Spread the word!


          1. re: Jim Leff

            This may be apocryphal, but I was told the etymology of Pho is from the french "Pot au feu". If not strictly true, it is at leat plausible given the colonial history of Vietnam. An interesting cross-cultural current.

            1. re: Seth Zurer

              Thank you all for your answers. I plan on taking my husband to lunch next week at one of these spots & will report back on our experiences.

            2. re: Jim Leff

              Pho 777 has the best pho on the strip, and it's deservedly popular... pho is fantastic for lunch and very good comfort food; also worth trying are banh xeo, a type of egg-based dish; the fresh spring rolls here are really good too