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888

rudeboy Jul 31, 2007 04:25 PM

888 - was a Vietnamese restaurant on Anderson lane that served Vietnamese food.
888 - is a Vietnamese restaurant on Oltorf that serves Vietnamese food.
RollinSushi - was a sushi place that replaced the Anderson 888 Vietnamese place.
888 - is now the sign that hangs over that restaurant. Went in last night, and they have a VERY unusual Korean menu. I wanted to just eat there, but my wife wanted Vietnamese last night, so we bailed on the whole smoked eel and went to Sunflower (which was excellent again).

What gives with the 888 deal? Anyone been there? Entrees range from $7.99 to over $20, and there were only Asian patrons. I didn't even know what some of the dishes were.

OK - I just did an internet search and found this just published article

http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/review?oid=oid%3A390516

Unfortunately, they tried the "safest" items and then mentioned the more interesting items as something that they saw someone else eating or what they might try next time. The picture accompanying the article is recycled from a 2005 article on the oltorf 888 Vietnamese place!!!!!!

http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=303789

But at least they caught it!

http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyroba...

  1. p
    platinum Aug 28, 2007 11:57 AM

    Anyone try 888 on Oltorf?

    1 Reply
    1. re: platinum
      hangingfire Aug 29, 2007 09:31 AM

      I go to 888 on Oltorf pretty regularly and like it a lot. Not quite my favorite pho in town, but their grilled squid appetizer is really tasty. Husband likes the vermicelli a lot. And there's a beef dish I had there (name escapes me at the moment) that's really good.

    2. r
      ryocat Aug 28, 2007 07:35 AM

      I attempted to eat at 888 with my boyfriend right after it opened, when the Rollin Sushi sign was still up. We were asked, in a rather rude way, if we had come for sushi, and when we said yes, the older gentleman began to hustle us out the door, saying "Sorry, it's all Korean now," as if we (a white person and an indian person) could not have any interest in Korean food. Several of the patrons were also openly staring at us.

      I've never been made so unwelcome at a restaurant, but I love eel, so maybe I'll have to try again.

      1. rudeboy Aug 27, 2007 08:18 PM

        Oh, has anyone tried 888 on Anderson (Korean). I've never seen a menu like that, but I haven't been back.

        1. tom in austin Jul 31, 2007 05:43 PM

          8 is an insanely lucky number in Chinese culture. (And Vietnamese as well, I suppose?)

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_...

          All those with hot 888 tips, do tell. This is a frequent dining spot for my coworkers due to proximity, and all of my visits have been gross. But I might just be ordering wrong.

          5 Replies
          1. re: tom in austin
            rudeboy Aug 27, 2007 08:17 PM

            The "must have" hue staple is Bo Bun Hue, from what I've read (I'm going to LA and I'm looking for more varied Asian restaurants to check out when I'm there). I haven't had it at 888, but I want to try it. You have to knaw your way through meat. As far as I can' understand, 888 is the only place in town that serves it anymore. See this and ask for shrimp past on the side to see what they say:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bun_Bo_Hue

            1. re: rudeboy
              q
              QTG Aug 28, 2007 10:53 AM

              The place I go to for Bun Bo Hue is Pho Saigon next to Saigon Market. I've been there where all the Vietnamese people ordered it including me. You can definitely taste the lemongrass in the broth which is very tasty. Its even better than my mom's.
              They have given me the shrimp paste condiment in the past for it but not always. But it is available if you ask.

              I've also had the bun bo hue at Sunflower but wasn't as impressed with their version.

              1. re: QTG
                MPH Nov 4, 2007 11:15 AM

                This weekend I tried the bun bo hue at Pho Saigon next to Saigon Market and did really like the deep, flavorful, lemongrass-tinged broth. They make it aromatic and faintly sweet but provide you with flecks of red chilis so that you can adjust the spiciness to taste. I believe the meat included beef bones, pig's feet, flank steak, oxtail, slices of Gio Lua [steamed, lean pork sausage]—but definitely no cubed pig's blood.

                In addition to the chopped fresh chilis, the bo bun hue came with lots of fresh basil, mint, sprouts, shredded purple cabbage, shredded banana blossom, some very earthy fermented-shrimp paste (a little goes a long way), lime wedges, the usual mixture of chopped scallions and parsley, and onions.

                I already enjoyed their pho on your recommendation, QTG. Thanks for another good tip on their bun bo hue.

                1. re: MPH
                  q
                  QTG Nov 6, 2007 12:45 PM

                  They didn't give you any pork blood? Its actually canned and cut up in squares. Sometimes you can see the mold of the can still on the cut. My mom also serves the canned pork blood. Having butchered various poultry in our backyard and seen the blood made into pudding, the canned color is more of a blandish brown and not the rich deep red color of the blood pudding made from fresh blood.

                  The service there can be spotty sometimes. They've forgotten my periwinkles before for my bun rieu. But once I pointed it out it was rushed out to me. But the noodle bowls are so delicious that its a minor detraction for me.

                  1. re: QTG
                    MPH Nov 7, 2007 08:28 PM

                    I returned to Pho Saigon for the bun bo hue earlier this week, QTG. A couple of cubes of pork blood were included this time. Their absence on my last visit was probably just an oversight. Once again, I enjoyed the chow—and the friendly service. And I really love the fact that the kitchen doesn't dumb down the food for non-Vietnamese customers.

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