University Ave: Bangkok Thai, Pho Ca Dao, Saigon
Saigon was closed at lunch yesterday. There was a sign in the side door, but I didn't get out of the car to read it. Don't know the status.
Pho Ca Dao: I finally stopped in yesterday because Saigon was closed. Wow! It was great. The best Pho I've had in the Twin Cities. Nothing much else on the menu. Some egg rolls which are ok, but the Pho is the deal. Small is plenty for a normal mortal at $5.25.
Bangkok Thai Deli: I was a fan. Went there last week and the food was not good. I will probably not go back. The fish poached in banana leaves looked like it had been around for a few days. The pork broth smelled foul. The mock-duck stir-fry was half-arsed. What happened?
There's a new Thai place (well, I just noticed it), Bangkok Thai Cuisine on the same block as Little Szechuan....just a bit west. Maybe it's got the goods. I can't stand the traffic at University and Snelling so I'm not getting to On's.
Pho Ca Dao Restaurant
439 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103
Don't fear the traffic to On's, especially if you go for dinner. It's not that bad; plus, University Ave really clears out by 5:30-ish on weekdays. (Probably because so many people are avoiding the area.) Weekends are easy-peasy.
Saigon might have weekend-only hours, or it might be closed for good. Eyewitness reports are not hopeful: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806881 . Glad you found a good meal at Pho Ca Dao!
Next time, try the tiny Ai Hue Deli tucked behind Krua Thailand (note that KT isn't recommended) for soup, banh mi, and pastries (cream puffs!). I went there last week for a sandwich, but they were out of bread at 3:30 pm, so I had a delicious savory bun that resembed a pork meatball in puff pastry. Yum.
I must be pretty lucky -- or I eat awfully early -- because I've never had _great_ difficulty getting to On's going west on University. It's sad to see the place so empty almost every time I've been there (every couple of weeks or so)
TPTB also have decreed that the construction company has to have four lanes of University open by November 30. so maybe the businesses along the avenue have to hang on just a little longer until some temporary relief arrives.