Hidden Vietnamese in Fort Lee
- Jason Perlow
I can't give this place enough places, Saigon Cafe in the Sharon Plaza shopping center between Amsterdam and Palisaide off of Columbia. The place has been there for 3 years, but nobody knows its there. Its in a little shack underneath a TV repair shop.
It was rainy and yucky today so I went there today to get a nice bowl of steaming hot Thit Vo Bo Vien, or beef noodle soup with rice noodles and beef meatballs. Truly delicious stuff, especially when you are all stuffed up. Just add some Sriracha hot sauce and youre good to go!
The owner, named Katie, is going to leave that location soon and may very well be setting up shop up Sylvan Avenue in Cafe Madrid's current location (alas, Cafe Madrid is not doing well) or in the late Bertolotti's spot in Cliffside Park on Anderson, which has been abandoned for some weeks. I personally would like to see her in Bertolotti's spot where she plans offer Vietnames and Thai specialites along with French pastries, ice cream and french coffee/cappuccino.
So before she moves, check her out -- she doesnt have much place to sit but if you go there on a nice day she has a few tables outside where you can eat al fresco. On lousy days like today she has a few stools inside where you can eat on a ledge by the window. Her summer rolls and spring rolls are awesome, as are her soups and saute dishes.
Been going there and loving it for quite some time now.
Didnt know about their plans to move. I guess their current location is a bit odd.
Hope its not too far away, I eat there once a week.
Really nice French/Vietnamese sandwich too, also their pho, spicy beef and lemongrass chicken soups are great!
re: Jim Leff
I had lunch again there today -- killer fried rice Vietnamese style. Katie is negotiating rents now with various locations, so I think you've got a few weeks before she moves and who knows with a more expensive rent she may have to jack up her prices.
I think you should go there, its your kinda place.
re: Jason Perlow
Sounds like she could actually use all of our business more at the new place, where she's got to meet that higher rent!
To digress...I used to giggle with glee when I found great chefs cooking for pennies. But over the years we've lost too many terrific places that couldn't make ends meet. And I like chefs to be able to afford proper ingredients (I pray every day for SEA Cambodian in Brooklyn to raise prices and buy decent meat and seafood).
So I've changed my mind. I like to see worthy places charge a fair price for their work (the Arepa Lady, genius that she is, deserves Star Chef wages, not mere subsistence income!), and I do what I gotta to save up and support them. And make the case to readers that nothing delicious ever deserves to be considered cheap, in any sense of the word.
So please do post when you hear where she's gone!