New to Vietnamese Food
This is not strictly a restaurant question, but here goes: I recently ate at a Vietnamese Restaurant in Tampa and really enjoyed it. However, I had no idea what to try so just went with a simple rice and pork dish. Are there any real good Vietnamese Restaurants in Pinellas County? What are some of the better dishes to try? I like spicy things; not crazy about funky sea creatures as food.
I'm also new to the cuisine, but have been to Pho Saigon on 4th in St. Petersburg a number of times with others who really know the cuisine and they enjoy it. Most of us go for the Phon which you can spice up however you like it. We all wind up checking how "red" each others broths are from the hot sauces.
Check out this thread from a few weeks ago.
I personally don't care for Pho Saigon. I think that their Pho is a little too savory.
Several of my Vietnamese aquaintances say they like Pho Quyen the best.
I also frequent A Taste of Asia. It is located on 34th St. and 30th Ave N. in St. Pete. Not stricly a Vietnamese resstaurant but I like their Pho and Bun Bo Hue.
Also on 34th St. next to the Mekong is Thuy's. They serve manh mi. Vietnmese sandwiches. Cheap, fresh and delicious. A real taste treat. Address is 5944 34th St. N.
I don't know about specific Tampa-area Vietnamese, but if you're venturing out, let me offer the following:
- Cha gio, which are crispy spring rolls
- summer rolls, which are noodles, shrimp, carrots and basil rolled into rice-paper wrappers and left cold
- roasted quail
- hanoi grilled pork
- Bo Luc Lac (my personal favorite), also known as vietnamese shaky beef. Cubes of steak are sauteed with onions in a sweet, sour, mildly spicy sauce, usually served on a bed of lettuce or watercress with a lime juice-salt-pepper combination for dipping.
- Andrew Langer
I also recommend Pho Quyen in Pinellas Park. Try Bun Thit Nuong, it is grilled pork over rice vermicelli noodles. Usually has basil, mint and cilantro leaves for a very fragrant seasoning. I like caramel pork at Saigon Bay in Tampa. It's sliced pork in a spicy sauce with caramelized onions, served over white rice. Has been known to drain the sinuses, ask for mild if a runny nose makes you uncomfortable (for me, it is the sign of a good meal, ha!).