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New Vietnamese in Amherst

caughtstars Oct 8, 2008 10:18 AM

I just found out that a new Vietnamese restaurant is opening tomorrow in
Amherst! Finally.

It's called Miss Saigon and it will be on North Pleasant St. near Bruegger's, I think.
I only found out because I was in the Asian grocery store on Rte. 9 (the larger
one near the car dealership) and saw a sign. The owner of the
store said her nephew was opening it.

I'm truly hoping it's good!

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  1. andytee RE: caughtstars Oct 12, 2008 09:25 PM

    i saw that too, and was similarly excited and hopeful. it has to be better than pho noodle.

    4 Replies
    1. re: andytee
      Big Fat Moe RE: andytee Oct 14, 2008 10:35 AM

      I went the other day. Had the beef pho. Very very delicious! Better than any pho I've had in WMass and the rival of the best I've had in a long time anywhere. Deeply flavorful broth, generous portions of beansprouts, cilantro, and basil and the meat (rare eye round) was just fine.
      Kind of pricey for pho, tho. At $8.50 it is $2-3 higher than it should have been. Didn't have anything else but everything coming out of the kitchen looked good.
      A welcome addition. Now, only if they'd open up a Northampton location..

      1. re: Big Fat Moe
        Bri RE: Big Fat Moe Oct 14, 2008 06:10 PM

        How does it compare to Vinh Chau at the X in Springfield? You're right about 8.50 being high.

        1. re: Bri
          Big Fat Moe RE: Bri Oct 14, 2008 06:11 PM

          Better pho in Amherst I thought

      2. re: andytee
        andytee RE: andytee Oct 17, 2008 07:35 PM

        tried it out for lunch on thursday, food was very good and i am really glad to have them in amherst. not "best vietnamese ever" but definitely good food.

        prices were higher than most vietnamese restaurants i have been to, $8-9 for a bowl of pho (smaller bowl than typical as well), and something like $5-6 for spring rolls. i look at it as a price premium for two things - one, being in amherst where there is no competition and lots of money to be had, and two, the decor of the space, which is a cut above most vietnamese places.

        service was nice, but dismally disorganized. hoping i can chalk it up to being new. had to ask three times for water, and it was a struggle to get my check and pay. i think they had just changed cash-register systems that day, so that might be part of the struggle as well.

        i had pho and vietnamese coffee. will go back for more.

      3. fame da lupo RE: caughtstars Oct 22, 2008 08:18 PM

        I had lemongrass and chili vermicelli with chicken. The flavors popped - no wimpy, toned-down to the New England palate bland fare that I'm used to. Partner had the pancake, also very tasty. $8.50 for my vermicelli - pricey, but I got a meal and a half out of it, so not too bad. Very nice to see a place that does one cuisine and does it well. If only we could get this in Northampton.

        2 Replies
        1. re: fame da lupo
          andytee RE: fame da lupo Oct 22, 2008 08:33 PM

          "the pancake" = bahn xeo, the eggy crepe filled with bean sprouts? i've been working my way through the standards but haven't tried this one yet. when it's good it's so good.

          1. re: andytee
            fame da lupo RE: andytee Oct 22, 2008 08:45 PM

            That's the one. I liked it a lot - fried crispy, good flavor, but I will admit to not being an expert.

        2. Bri RE: caughtstars Oct 23, 2008 05:56 AM

          Well, I mistakenly tried to get to this place last Saturday. What a nightmare! I knew Amherst was a college town but it was bumper to bumper in single lane traffice for miles. Having lived in VT now for years, I'm just not used to that kind of traffic anymore.

          Any suggestions for a less irritating time to go?

          6 Replies
          1. re: Bri
            andytee RE: Bri Oct 23, 2008 07:45 PM

            amherst traffic? only a vermonter would use those words. it gets a little congested sometimes, just try a different road.

            less irritating time? not on saturday.

            1. re: andytee
              hilltowner RE: andytee Oct 23, 2008 07:49 PM

              Or anybody west of Northampton and east of Pittsfield.

              1. re: andytee
                fame da lupo RE: andytee Oct 23, 2008 09:19 PM

                Maybe it was leef-peeping traffic. Normally traffic and Amherst don't really go together (though Rt. 9 through Hadley can be annoying).

                1. re: fame da lupo
                  BerkshireTsarina RE: fame da lupo Oct 26, 2008 05:10 PM

                  Okay, we came from west of Northampton and south of Pittsfield on a Sunday, and lived to tell the tale! (It really is just Rte 9 through Hadley that's annoying, the rest is okay.) Our granddaughter at UMass is into trying new tastes (hurrah) so we all went to Miss Saigon, and found the food very good, esp. the wonton noodle pho. Service not smooth, but willing and agreeable. I'm with andytee (below), the prices were fair, food tasty, it's a keeper for us.

              2. re: Bri
                fatheryod RE: Bri Oct 27, 2008 06:35 AM

                i'm pretty sure it was homecoming weekend at umass.

                1. re: fatheryod
                  Bri RE: fatheryod Oct 28, 2008 05:36 AM

                  That would explain it, because it wasn't just Rte 9 that was a mess.

              3. andytee RE: caughtstars Oct 26, 2008 01:30 PM

                i've been back a few times and the rough service issues seem to be getting ironed out. i can't say service is stellar, but it's fine.

                food keeps being good, have not had anything here i did not like.

                prices are higher than the par for vitenamese, which is ultra-cheap, but still very fair and a lot better than many other places in amherst.

                check them out if you haven't

                1 Reply
                1. re: andytee
                  caughtstars RE: andytee Oct 28, 2008 09:24 AM

                  I finally went to Miss Saigon last night and had a great meal...
                  We had the fresh spring rolls with pork for an appetizer.
                  The rolls were very good. I would say that the dipping sauces (hoisin and
                  fish sauce) weren't quite as good as Pho Saigon in Springfield, but they were
                  still fine. I'm picky about how fish sauce is prepared and like the slightly
                  sweeter version at Pho Saigon better.

                  For dinner, I had the vermicelli with grilled pork and fried spring rolls. The pork
                  was smoky and delicious. My husband had the pho tai which was also very good. We didn't think the serving of pho was smaller than most Viet. places we've been to.

                  Yes, the service is still getting worked out, but the menu looked extensive and we can't
                  wait to keep trying things!

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