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Best Vietnamese Restaurant in Tampa Bay-- How did I forget about it?

I am REALLY starting to wonder if senility is setting in. Just had one of the best meals I've had in St. Pete for a long time at Jade Bistro Asian Cuisine. I hadn't been there in at least 4 months and after tonight, all I can think of is...why?

There were 4 of us. We started off with Autumn Rolls, a skinny, crispy fried roll filled with porky goodness that you wrap in lettuce, fresh mint, several kinds of fresh basil and cilantro and slather with a little hot sauce. The contrast of the hot fried roll and the crisp cool greens & herbs was unbelievably delicious. Summer Rolls (freshly made in house--I asked) were a great counterpoint--shrimpy, soft and dipped in super flavorful (and not too sweet) peanut sauce.

Then, they rolled out the big guns...literally. The server rolled out a portable table and began cooking up butter, garlic, onions, spices and oysters right next to our table. As good as the oysters were, the best part was mopping up the nicely spicy sauce with plenty of crusty french bread.

The shaking beef was the best I've had outside of the Slanted Door in San Francisco--almost "candied" pieces of filet with their sweetness tempered with a quick splash through a sauce of seasoned salt and lime juice. Unfortunetly, they no longer have the "large" size, so we had to get 2 orders for the table to share...we fought over every last bit of it. The Singapore Noodles had an exotic curried flavor that married well with the perfectly cooked vegetables, shrimp and roast pork that studded it--but we would have prefered it to be a bit spicier. (Unrepentant chile heads--party of 4.)

For this more-than-substantial feast...it cost each of us @$15. Wow.

I think this place would be a good candidate for a Tampa Chowhound event...anyone interested?

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Jade Bistro Asian Cuisine
6139 Park Blvd, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

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  1. Glad you brought this place up, it should be recognized as one of the best Vietnamese places in the TB area. Count me in.

    1. VERY interested!
      ----and I think a bunch of us will be....

      Like I was preparing to say in another thread; I'll try to go, and I'll have fun no matter what, but I'll get a lot more excited if our occassional 'Chowdowns' are explorations and celebrations of a culture or tradition rather than simply checking out a trendy spot...
      I think we'll also get more participation with the former...

      What you described above sounds killer...
      What was the name of the crazy oyster dish?

      Everytime I go to a Vietnamese place I get Pho & Spring Rolls & Viet Coffee... :-(

      4 Replies
      1. re: Mild Bill

        I think the oyster dish is just called "Spicy Oyster"...it is on the appetizer menu, but could easily serve as a meal in itself. Soooo good!

        1. re: Mild Bill

          You need to get across the street to Pho Quyen stat and have the shrimp stuffed squid with curry sauce.

          1. re: rhnault

            I love Pho Quyen, that's one of my fave Vietnamese places.

            current standings:

            Saigon Deli - Favorite Cheep Banh Mi
            Pho Quyen - Favorite variety
            Bamboozle Cafe - Favorite summer rolls

            I'm excited to try Jade Bistro, that beef sounds amazing!

            1. re: askdrtodd

              My current standings:

              Pho Quyen (Park Blvd or Hillsborough)- fresh spring rolls (some call summer rolls), beef with lemongrass, vermicelli salad, etc., but definitely not for Pho

              Taste of Saigon (Park Blvd) - Pho and Bun Bo Hue (and the best iced coffee in Pinellas County so far)

              Ben Than (4200 62nd Ave N) - Banh Xeo, Beef Fondue

              Went to Jade Bistro just after it opened (I did like the Thai restaurant that was there before) and was not impressed. I feel it is geared towards the American clientele and tried to be too elegant. Unless something has changed, look around at who is eating there. None of my relatives (Laotion) or friends (Vietnamese and Thai) eat there. I also know someone who worked there for a short time as a cook.

              I really need to get over to Tampa and try Saigon Deli to try their Banh Mi. I do enjoy to eat the grilled pork, pork roll, and classic vietnamese mix Banh Mi, but I'm always ready for a place with even better ones!!

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              Pho Quyen Restaurant
              4505 Park Blvd Ste 10, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

              Jade Bistro
              2425 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804

              Taste of Saigon
              6527 Park Blvd, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

        2. I'd love to! Already hungry.

          1. i've never had Vietnamese, always wanted to try it. i am IN. as a matter of fact, for this one, i'll even take a day off. todd, are you going to orchestrate? oh seriously i'm salivating. oh yeah. and by the way, laboheme, nice review.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Manderley

              you have been seriously deprived!

              1. re: andy huse

                i'll bet you say that to all the girls ;)

              2. Count me in as very interested...I'm always in for Vietnamese food. Well, as long as I can actually fit it in my schedule! My current goal is to find a place that delivers to work.

                2 Replies
                1. OK guys, let me know if you didn't get the email, looks like Sunday 9/12 @ 1pm is the date.