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Vietnam Palace [split thread] [Stratford, Ct]

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No, the Vietnamese place is in the spot formerly occupied by I'll Take Manhattan Deli (RIP), to the left of BJ's.

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  1. Banh Mi? Please say YES. Thanks, BTW.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LorenV

      Oh yeah, love a Banh Mi, plenty of fish sauce...

      1. re: LorenV

        You're welcome- I'm hoping for Banh Mi, too, but no word on any of their offerings yet

      2. FYI - It is called Vietnam Palace. Last Drive-By it wasn't open, but that was over a week ago. If anyone sees it open, let us know.

        13 Replies
        1. re: cheereeo

          I stopped by yesterday- they have a menu(yay- Banh Mi) posted, and a sign saying they are opening mid- June

          1. re: cheereeo

            Vietnam Palace - Dock Shopping Center, Stratford CT

            It's open...and...um...FG. Convinced the wife to go Saturday with just one of our two boys, who waited and had chicken once home. I'll scan their menu in tomorrow and post it here but we each a Banh Mi foot long sandwich, UNspicy Chicken for my wife and SPICY Pork for my inferno raged stomach. I also ordered Pho with well done Beef. ALL of this was to go...and we devoured the sandwiches like gluttons once home. Pho I reserved for myself for dinner last night (wife doesn't like the cinnamon, star anise, cookie-esque broth) and WOW. And the tab? $19.

            Drop everything and go now. The owners are very nice (not much English spoken) and Viet? was such an incredible host. Check out the pics of the Jalapenos put on the side. [Sierra Nevada Summerfest to pair with it, of course). Along with LOTS of Sriracha (their hot sauce was VERY GOOD but not too hot (but I like it fiery).

            Notice mine had seeds and my wife's were plucked out?

            Service.
            FG food.
            Primo location.

            Go.

             
             
            1. re: LorenV

              Agreed guy, my wife and I went for lunch before our monthly BJ's shopping trip and I destroyed a Bahn Mi. It is owned by a Mother and Son and they are open to interpretation and suggestions as this is their first venture. Very friendly and their sandwich was excellent and affordable. My wife had the pork bun (not a bun, but dish with noodles and herbs), also good.

              Give this place your business!

              1. re: CookFreeOrDie82

                I went last week and had the $9.50 bowl of beef pho. It was dreadful. I am sorry, but if you never had good Vietnamese food you may think this is fine but it was expensive for what is was. In New York that sad bowl of watery broth and noodles would be about $6,50.
                I have co-written a Vietnamese cookbook with a great chef from Vietnam and been over there twice. The pho I had at Vietnam Palace did have alot of overcooked beef in it if that is what you like but the broth was sorely lacking in any kind of depth. The spring rolls were not the rice paper wrapped and fired, they were wrapped in that lumpia wrapper used in the Philippines . Alot of Vietnamese restaurants make those. The ones here were unremarkable. A palace? Hardly. Then menu reads like a cafeteria. Very limited, no real interesting or skillful Vietnamese dishes offered. They want to sell alot of sandwiches and soups. I didn't try a bank mi, don't understand all of the fuss to go to a restaurant and order them. I make them at home.
                The young man serving me was very nice but overwhelmed. And that soup was a rip off at $9.50.

                1. re: chervil9

                  They give you the beef on the side when you order Pho...and you can order it raw...so maybe you ordered it wrong?

                  Either way...to each their own. I'm 'effing ecstatic to see this place in our dreadfully underrepresented variety of food offerings in our town. Enough with the darn bar food already!

                  1. re: chervil9

                    Well hey, if you have co-authored a Vietnamese cookbook and know what you are doing, PLEASE open a restaurant in Connecticut. Um, New Haven could really use such a thing. Pot au Pho is Pot of No, IMO. They're spotty and trying for something else. I want a Vietnamese restaurant like the kind you find around Philly.

                    C'mon. Open a restaurant. Show us how it's done.

                    I will be waiting with my napkin tucked under my chin.

                2. re: LorenV

                  FG? F@#king Good?

                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                    freaking, frigging good. let's keep this clean <VBG> my kids read CH

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      figured most kids these days hear alot worse...actually I've read alot worse in this very corner of the interweb. Geeze, is frig any better?!!!!

                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                        Chowhound terms of use #9
                        "...transmit any material that is inappropriate, profane, vulgar, offensive, false, disparaging, defamatory, obscene, illegal, sexually explicit, racist, that promotes violence, racial hatred, or terrorism, or that we deem, in our sole discretion, to be otherwise objectionable;"

                        Personally I don't care for Sole, BUT the 'F' word has been banned on CH as innappropriate, vulgar and/or obscene (depending on your jurisdiction).

                        1. re: bagelman01

                          We allow swearing on Chowhound, provided it isn't aimed at someone else.

                    2. re: BiscuitBoy

                      Indeed. I had more Pho last night (with added Sriracha from the fridge) and it was still amazing...and I had 1/4 of the container left that I froze. So I plan on thawing it and adding my own shaved raw sirloin and condiments the next time I crave Pho (which may be tonight!). This broth is that good (Watery? It poured like motor oil last night and once heated was spectacular with fish sauce and gamey-ish meat bone flavors)...plus I don't have the time to make it at home since my wife isn't a fan so why make it just for me?

                      I need to stop by and see if they'll sell the Pho broth to go sans add-ons. If not, I'll suffer!

                      BTW, I'll bring the menu in tomorrow and scan it and post it here. Plum forgot. And I mentioned this place to about 5 parents at our baseball game last night who live in Stratford and dig spicy food.

                      1. re: LorenV

                        Menu (tiny...hey, I have to WORK at work too!).

                         
                         
                3. I stopped in last week for a quick Bahn Mi. Being that it was my first, I have no frame of reference, but I though it had good flavor. The staff was very accommodating and really seemed interested in pleasing the customers. With the dearth of decent dining options in Stratford, I hope this place gets a chance to grow and survive. I'll definitely be back to try the pho and other menu items.

                  1. Stopped in yesterday (Thursday) at 3PM for some takeout.

                    2 sets of diners (1 sit-down, 1 take-out).

                    Ordered Bahn-mi & Pho. Got the packages in about 15 min & was told to sit down & have a glass of water whilst waiting.

                    Very nice owner. I hope the place succeeds.

                    Limited menu. The items tasted good to me, bahn-mi especially toothsome. The Pho had nice basil/cinnamon/star anise flavor.

                    Don't ask me if it was all proper, I don't do cook Vietnamese. But it was tasty.

                    What I would like to see is a rice wrapped spring roll - not fried (maybe not a spring roll either, but what do I know). I saw a picture of one on a calendar in the Asian food place near High St on the BPR in Milford. It looked so good I wanted to get the ingredients & make it that day. You know the one with veggies & some nuoc-nam for dipping.

                    Given that that place is in a revolving door for restaurants, I hope they can stay. Tough business (my father owned a luncheonette on 96th St for 30 years - that stuff I do know).

                    Peace.

                    1. My son had to run an errand out that way, so I suggested we try TD Vietnamese Palace for lunch.

                      We liked our food very much. We had roast pork Banh Mi and bun and lemonade (fresh made with lemon juice, soda water & sugar, served with spoon in glass so you could stir more vigorously to dissolve that last little pyramid of crystals in the bottom of the glass if you wanted more sweet. I didn't, it was perfect.) And everything went down the hatch pronto. The menu was small. But I was told that iit will be expanded as time goes by.

                      I think it makes sense for them to go slow. There is no tradition of eating Vietnamese food in CT, so many people do not know anything about it. These folks are going to have to educate their clientele, if they want to make this business work. And already it is a bit of a struggle, because people come in and place an order and pretty much flip out when they have to wait because it is being made from scratch. Yeah, they really have to educate those customers, if they want to make a go of it. Or else they'll have to do some compromises on the prep.

                      So hey, go out there and eat. This is very tasty food.

                      I just wish they were in New Haven!

                      :(

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Pipenta

                        Hey Pip, what else do they put on their banh mi?

                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                          Gosh BiscuitBoy, I do not even remember the details. I was VERY hungry. I remember the pork was perfect, rich but thin-sliced. I remember the roll was lovely and the crust crisp. I remember the whole thing being a synergistic symphony in my mouth. I remember ordered a second one to go. That, likely, was consumed very quickly.

                          Next time I will order two, right up front. so I have time to examine one while I gobble down the other.

                          I'll have to go back and do some more research.

                          1. re: Pipenta

                            I'll add my thumbs up for TD Vietnam Palace. Had the Pho Tai and the roast pork Bahn Mi.

                            First the Pho: decent broth, a little on the light side, but fragrant. The beef had been in the broth for a while, making it more on the medium-well side rather than the medium rare that's advertised on the menu. But it was still tender to the tooth, and not at all leathery. Doesn't measure up to Pho 501, my pho standard bearer in CT, but given the dearth of pho options in southern CT, I'll gladly take it.

                            Bahn mi: Very flavorful! As previously described, thin slices of rich, unctuous roasted pork, nicely seasoned with some sweetness from their rub/glaze/marinade. Topped with slices of cucumber, cilantro, and shredded (lightly) pickled carrot. Slices of raw chili peppers on the side. Bread doesn't have a super light crust but is otherwise very good. It's dressed with their homemade mayonnaise (olive oil-based according to the very nice lady whom I spoke with when paying) that had added mustard (she brought out a bottle of Gulden's!). An authentic, Platonic Ideal of a bahn mi? Perhaps not, but it was darn tasty and yes, FG.

                        2. re: Pipenta

                          Went again Saturday and ordered 2 Banh Mi sandwiches as well as 2 appetizers (Seafood Spring Roll and a Shrimp/Pork Summer Roll). Asked for my Banh Mi to be SUPER spicy this time and the kid (not Viet) threw on some mighty fine and sweat inducing chili peppers on my sandwich. The 2 appetizers were FG as well. My one complaint (and I'll let them know next time in) is that they need to stem their cilantro before putting it on the sandwiches. DO NOT like eating cilantro stems.

                          Awesome place. REALLY hope they can sustain business for quite a long time.

                        3. Went to Vietnam Palace, again, with the wife on Saturday. She stayed with the Banh Mi but I tried the Steamed Whole Rice with beef. Extra hot (5 stars). A bit salty (I added more sauce though) but wow what flavor. And heat? Oh yeah. I was sweating half way through the dish. Portion was HUGE too.

                          Such a great addition to our local dining scene.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LorenV

                            Given the favorable postings here, my wife and I thought we'd try Vietnam Palace last Friday night. We needed to have a relatively quick dinner and were looking for something outside of the norm. We arrived at around 8 o'clock. There were 5 or 6 tables seated, and only one appeared to have any food and no employees were to be found in the dining room. We waited for approximately 5 minutes to be seated, but still nobody appeared (nor did any of the tables without food receive anything!). Given our time constraints, it was clear that even if we did get seated, it was not going to be a fast process, so we left.

                            We will give VP another try, but it is simply unacceptable to have a completely unattended dining room on a Friday night (and any other night, for that matter!).

                            1. re: lsnhc

                              That's a pity you left. It's a family-run operation and this is their first restaurant. They bend over backwards when I have been there. Sorry you missed out.

                          2. Just a heads up to any "hot" food fans. If you go and order a Banh Mi (or whatever) and want it hot ask for a side of the red sauce they include with the spring rolls. Not sure if it's Sriracha based or what but OMFG is it excellent. And spicy too. They only include a dab of it with the spring rolls too. I can drink this stuff it's so good.

                            Crap...now I want a Banh Mi and it's only 10:45AM!

                            1. Ate lunch there yesterday with my son and daughter in law. They just returned from an extended trip to SE Asia that included almost a month in Vietnam. The woman who owns the place and her son were bend over backwards nice and accommodating. We has spring rolls and summer rolls that were good. I had the pork bahn mi, which was excellent, son had a rice noodle,pork, veggie dish and DIL had the papaya salad with dried beef. All washed down with Vietnamese iced coffee. The food was great and according to them very authentic to what they had on their trip.