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Jersey City: Downtown Saigon Cafe?

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  • steve d. Mar 17, 1999 04:41 PM
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Taking a nice long walk on this gorgeous day I happened on a Vietnamese place, apparently new, at 188 Newark Ave. (just south of Jersey) called Downtown Saigon Cafe; the menu looks promising (ten entries under Pho, separate sections of South East Asia Specialties and Entrees from Saigon, a very nice Vietnamese typeface) and the prices are quite reasonable -- has anyone tried it? (I haven't gotten to Casablanca yet, and this is even farther from my place of hellish employment, so I'd like a rave to lure me if possible.)

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  1. Is that the fairly new place on Newark Ave? If so, the
    only way I'd ever go back there is if they fired the
    service and kitchen staff. My 1st experience left me
    flabberghasted. I ordered something that was to be
    prepared at the table, I assumed by the waiter. Well,
    they just put the raw meat and vegetables on the table,
    along with the stove. I thought they were coming back
    to cook it, especially because they didn't even light
    the stove (or leave matches). So after sitting there
    feeling stupid for 15 minutes and dying of hunger, I
    finally asked. They might have thought of saying
    something to me instead of letting me sit there like an
    idiot. At that point I said forget it and left, and
    wasn't charged for the meal.

    I figured I'd give them a 2nd shot cuz I thought the
    first experience might have been a cultural thing, and
    I love Vietnamese. The food is very mediocre, and the
    service is ridiculously unprofessional. Appetizers and
    entrees came out at different times for both of
    us,same as first time we were there. There was no
    assistance when asked to describe the items. And they
    were downright unfriendly. We were the only Americans
    there both times, and maybe we weren't welcome.

    1 Reply
    1. re: glenn

      Wow -- thanks for the warning! I'd have been willing to brave the service for great food, but not mediocre! I guess "authentic" ain't necessarily "good"...