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Saigon Grill... What to order

Going to Saigon Grill (in the Village)for lunch. What are some tried and true dishes to order? Not really familiar with Vietnamese food, so what would be good for a newbie? Don't really care for anything very spicy.
Thanks

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  1. Hmmmmm... I don't know-- I like spicy. I love the papaya salad there. Also the beef loc lac is quite good (not sure what it's called there-- I think not loc lac though. It's a beef salad dish wiht a sour sauce.

    1. Haven't been to the one in the Village -- but am very familiar with the one on the UWS. If the menu is the same, the pork chops, the sauteed steak cubes, and their string beans are all amazing dishes! Enjoy!

      1. If you're a newbie, the appetizer platter is a great choice: lots of yummy things, and enough to serve as a main. (I think it's: 1 fried spring roll; 1 soft summer roll; 1 chicken satay skewer; 1 beef satay skewer; 1 sugarcane shrimp roll.) I always get it, sometimes with some pho to round things out...

        1. I'm a huge devotee--I used to get food from the UES location at least once a week. For a newbie, I would get Bun Xao with either beef or chicken (don't worry, they're not spicy). My two absolute favorites are:

          BUN XAO: stir-fried rice noodles with crushed peanuts, eggs, shredded veggies, and your choice of meat or shrimp. Delicious.

          STRING BEANS: delicious, with lots of shallots and garlic.

          Other great ones:

          CHO GIO: crispy spring rolls
          PORK CHOPS: not always great, but excellent when they're on
          LA SA GA: curry chicken coconut soup
          PHO BO: classic oxtail noodle soup
          BANH HOI: angelhair type vermicelli noodles
          BUN: flat, white rice noodles like the type you would get at a Chinese dim sum place

          1. Thank you all so much. Kanger, I made a list of your wonderful suggestions, which I plan to take along with me.Thank you for the suggestions and the descriptions of each dish.

            1. My husband's office is right around the corner and he eats there on a regular basis. He likes the shrimp dumplings, the crispy sea bass with curry, black bean or sweet and sour sauce. For a vegetarian main dish, he loves the bamboo steamed vegetables.

              1. the old favorites there are the ff:

                * bu loc lac (sauted beef sirloin cubes)
                * papaya salad (just stay clear of the red chilis and you shld be fine)
                * pork spareribs (served as an appetizer)
                * fried spring rolls
                * the grilled chicken barbecue (bbq pork chops not as good in saigon grill better at nha trang)
                * vietnamese bouillabase

                1. errr, i'd temper your expectations...i am perplexed by all these raves for the place...it's bland Americanized cheap Vietnamese food...i've been satisfied w/ the salmon in the past but i wouldn't recommend it too highly either...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Simon

                    Agree and raise you. I ordered for the first and last time a couple weeks ago and I can't remember a more disgusting meal.

                    1. re: Simon

                      I wholeheartedly agree. Totally overrated. Any Vietnamese place in Chinatown (or anywhere for that matter) is better, and cheaper. But if you do insist on going there, I would order one of the Bun dishes or one of the soups. The stirfries are gloppy, oversweet and boring.

                    2. Did the UES location ever reopen or is that a mute point now?

                      1. If it's a "mute" point, you're not likely to hear much on the subject. :) Moot points are more likely to be topics of conversation. ;)

                        "errr, i'd temper your expectations

                        Temper them enormously. I had lunch there on Saturday. It was about as a good as very average neighborhood Chinese food, of a quality level easily avoidable in most Manhattan neighborhoods (unfortunately, not within a few blocks at that price level.)

                        Even the worst of the places I"ve eaten at in Manhattan's Chinatown are a lot better. The space is nice, if you like that sort of thing, though to my mind weirdly out of synch with the menu let alone the quality of the food. And I'll bet it's loud as hell when it's full. The overall ambiance seems more fitting to the bar up front, than the restaurant that takes up most of the space.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MikeG

                          Duh, I meant "moot"!
                          So is this the UES location or Village location you are talking about?

                        2. Village. University and 11th? That cavernous space where the health food/vitamin store used to be.

                          1. are we just talking about the village location? because i have to say, the UWS location is one of my favorite places to get delivery from. i love it. fresh, fast and delicious. it may be americanized, but im fine with that.

                            1. The OP asked about the one in the Village.

                              1. I've eaten in both the UWS and the Village locations and thought the food in the UWS branch was better. As for the one on the UES, yes, it's going to open. SG bought the building, so it is now the landlord. Believe it is expanding the restaurant to two levels.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: gloriousfood

                                  I thought UWS was better than the UES one (never been to University Place) but still, overall, unremarkable relative to its hype.