Nha Trang Centre Ain't What It Used to Be
I've gone for lunch a couple of times since I started working downtown. The pho bo sate, which I used to love was mediocre--the sate a shadow of its former self and the beef dry and tough. Today I had the squid with lemongrass & chili over rice and it was overly sweet and not very good. I haven't been to Baxter for a while, so I can't compare.
Peter, the old cook from Nha Trang Center quit some months ago. The decline was sharp and painful. I'm still enjoying some dishes there from time to time (seafood-veg soup, bbq pork chop) but I have to agree with you, the rest it's been getting bland at it's best. However, our waiter told us that the manager (young tall handsomish guy at the register) is eager to hear input from customers, so do speak out your dissatisfaction. There's still hope that they'll bring back the former cook.
As an aside note, I did try the Baxter location a few times and will no more - surly service and quite bland food.
As counterpoint, I'll chime in to say that I tried Nha Trang Baxter as a newcomer to NYC. It was maybe the third or fourth Vietnamese place I've tried here, in my attempts to find something that approaches the quality of bun (vermicelli) I got back in Houston. It wasn't on par, but Nha Trang Baxter's bun came the closest.
What I find myself noticing most is the lack of freshness in the vegetables and well-doneness of the noodles. Simple things, it would seem.