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

laboheme Aug 25, 2010 05:24 PM

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?

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

  1. askdrtodd Sep 3, 2010 05:24 AM

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

    1. t
      TampaAurora Aug 26, 2010 04:15 PM

      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. re: TampaAurora
        askdrtodd Aug 26, 2010 05:46 PM

        what part of town is work in?

        1. re: askdrtodd
          TampaAurora Aug 28, 2010 10:39 AM

          Largo. Starkey and Ulmerton.

      2. m
        Manderley Aug 26, 2010 02:38 PM

        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
          andy huse Sep 2, 2010 09:30 AM

          you have been seriously deprived!

          1. re: andy huse
            Manderley Sep 2, 2010 05:44 PM

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

          2. re: Manderley
            askdrtodd Sep 2, 2010 10:27 AM

            I'll send out the email now :)

          3. askdrtodd Aug 26, 2010 05:47 AM

            I'd love to! Already hungry.

            1. Mild Bill Aug 25, 2010 06:27 PM

              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
                laboheme Aug 25, 2010 07:50 PM

                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
                  rhnault Aug 26, 2010 06:48 AM

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

                  1. re: rhnault
                    askdrtodd Aug 26, 2010 07:44 AM

                    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
                      kempshark Aug 27, 2010 02:05 PM

                      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!!

                      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. a
                  andy huse Aug 25, 2010 06:21 PM

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

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