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Vietnamese - Central Ave Scarsdale

I checked out the sign in the window of the buidling that used to be Red Barn Pizza. It says that the restaurant will soon be "Saigaonase" (I think that's how it was spelled) Vietnamese restaurant. That should make a lot of people happy (if it's good!).

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  1. That's the best news I've heard all week. I literally just ordered some banh mi from a place in midtown after the craving wouldn't subside. Hallelujah!

    2 Replies
    1. re: foodiemom10583

      so desperate for banh mi, drove to grand street

    2. Oh my... this better happen. If it's good then it should be a hit. Just look at how busy H-Mart has been since it opened in Hartsdale!

      1. ok this made my day. I just got back from Austin where I had great Vietnamese. Hope this place is half as good.

        1. Hope it is a real vietnames restaurant and not one of those Vietnamese/French Colonial fusion type places. (The name "Saigonaise" scares me, if that is indeed the proper spelling, I am guessing). Even so, it may still make a great Pho. Anyway, is it in Scarsdale or Hartsdale proper? What does the space look like? Hopefully, it is a dump because that means the food might not be to foo fooey.

          The name reminds me of that mediocre "Maison Japonaise" in Murry Hill which was neither good French nor Japanese cuisine. At least French Colonial Vietnamese is more of a legit cuisine, so I will reserve judgement.

          12 Replies
          1. re: jcmods

            It's 158 S. Central Avenue in Hartsdale. The building is a small, red barn.

              1. re: scarsdalesurprise

                They put up their sign yesterday. It says:
                Saigonase
                Authentice Vietnamese cusine

                1. re: scarsdalesurprise

                  What makes you say that? Has the place even opened yet?
                  There are tons of places in Chinatown that look like dumps but have amazing food.

                  1. re: iluvcookies

                    I was never inside that space when it was a pizza place, but it does look kind of small. However , the sign was pretty sophisticated looking and I've seen lots of work trucks there. If the sign is any indication, it doesn't. appear to be heading into the "dive"
                    category. No website yet.

                    1. re: iluvcookies

                      I drive by that building every day - it's far from fancy. I never said that meant the food wouldn't be good.

                      1. re: scarsdalesurprise

                        Well, whatever the inside looks like, I think it ranks as one of the most exciting culinary events this year in Westchester.

                        1. re: Maryld

                          I stopped by yesterday to take a look. I couldn't see inside, but they had just put in new windows and it seemed that they were totally gutting and renovating it. Also the outside looks like it had just gotten a coat of paint. Didn't it use to be dark barn red?

                        2. re: scarsdalesurprise

                          I meant "dump" in a good way...like the Chinatown places that are divey with great food. Usually, places that try too hard to look nice end up serving mediocre food....and the last thing we need is another "fusion" type place. God lets hope it is the real thing. We drove past it yesterday and it still was not open. However, it looks like they painted the red barn white.

                          1. re: jcmods

                            I forgot to say that in my conversation with the Co-Owner, one of the "problems" they encountered was a leak in the roof. When I drove by this weekend, looked as if work was being done on it.

                            1. re: Jon1856

                              I really hope Sandy did not delay the opening (especially the leak in the roof). I was hoping this place would be open by now.

                              1. re: jcmods

                                I haven't seen much activity at all over the last couple of weeks. The building looks okay, though.

                  2. Please update when they are open for business. I'm not in that neighborhood regularly but will make a special trip to try it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Sloth

                      Westchester needs a good Viet Nam restaurant. The closest decent place for this food is now "The Viet Nam" in Spring Valley over the Tappen Zee and that is quite a trip!!

                    2. This makes me so happy! Was Red Barn Pizza any good? I always wondered. Not enough to stop obviously...

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: Kalee

                          The man who ran Red Barn made an effort to have unique pizza. Something was off though. I suppose the cheese was poor quality. Venetian Delight across the street has fine old time regular slices like Sal's. Tough to find a good slice these days.

                        2. Can´t wait to try it. We have been waiting for years for a vietnamese rest. We often go into NYC to get good Vietnamese food. Hooray at last!
                          Shoporama8

                          1. I stopped by the building this past Saturday and had a 15-20 minutes converston with the co-owner. She was born and raised, for a time in 'Nam. Also spent some time in France. The lead Chef is also from 'Nam. Their intent is to have a vietnamese menu-NOT fusion of any sort. However anyone aware of the history on Vietnam and the whole area knows that many (Asian) cultures were there over the years. The Chinese took some sause from 'Nam and there can be some Frence under tones. Their idea and wish is to be true to their County's cooking history.
                            They had planned on being opened over a month ago but building and equipment delays occured. Planning now within a week or so.
                            I am sure we have all lost track of thread and sub-thread asking/begging for a Vietnamese Restaurant. My suggestion is to go and enjoy it.
                            Remember-If this place does well, perhaps another one will come along. If it fails, many never see another one.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Jon1856

                              I've not lost track and am terribly excited about this place. I'd bet that every Chowhounder who passes it on Central Avenue is excited, too.

                              1. re: foodiemom10583

                                Was that near the pizza and brew (by the tgi fridays)? Vietnamese sounds like a good addition anyhow. But really, I'd like to go photograph the abandoned spa in Hartsdale.

                                1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                  It's further north on Central, up in Hartsdale in the old Red Barn Pizza building.

                                  That abandoned spa is quite an awesome-looking space.

                                  1. re: foodiemom10583

                                    Yes, wouldn't it make a great space for a cockail lounge/restaurant? I've been wishing for years that somone would take that on as a project, I shudder to think what the inside is like, however.

                                  2. re: BuildingMyBento

                                    http://westchesternyphotographer.com/...
                                    http://www.lohud.com/article/20120519...

                                    There are several more articles and photos floating around out there.

                                    My mother belonged to the club/gym and sometimes I went with her. I remember the lit torches, restaurant/juice bar, track, amazing tiled pool/ shower/bath area downstairs. However I do not remember the caged tiger, thank God! I think everyone who eats at the Candlelight and gazes accross the street dream about what they would do with that building, I know we do.

                                        1. re: foodiemom10583

                                          Somethig info not in those stories: Rug store owner owns well over a mile of property on Central Ave. Starts somewhere near the store and runs North to someplace across the street from Gulf station.

                                2. Tough location for a restaurant though, very hard to get in and out of especially if one wants to head southbound, one of the reasons I never tried pizza barn a second try.Granted Vietnamese has less or no competition it is still a tough place to draw ppl to. Hope it works out though

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: 51rich

                                    Plenty of restaurants on Central do just fine. I think if this place is good it will do well.

                                  2. Has anyone tried the Vietnamese restaurant on Jerome Ave. in the Bronx? It's closer than Spring Valley. I had been to the place across the street from it which was pretty good but closed after this opened up.
                                    https://plus.google.com/1078091707278...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: beefa

                                      You may want to repost this on the Outer Boroughs board. I think there have been discussions about the place there.

                                    2. It has been awhile since anyone checked in on this. Any news about when they might open for business? Thanks!

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: Sloth

                                        I live nearby and I haven't seen any activity there in weeks. I had stopped in in mid October and they told me they would be open in 10 days, but I haven't seen anyone there since.

                                        1. re: edgemontfoodie

                                          I saw some folks there a few days ago. Couldn't tell what stage the work was in.

                                          1. re: JMF

                                            I haven't seen a thing in weeks, either. People have been using the parking lot for Rudy's next door.

                                            1. re: scarsdalesurprise

                                              I saw a car with doors open, the restaurant door open and 3-4 folks going in and out.

                                                1. re: edgemontfoodie

                                                  I just looked at the restaurant's Urban Spoon page and three people have voted that they liked it. Weird if the place hasn't opened yet, unless people were just voting for the idea.

                                                  1. re: foodiemom10583

                                                    Exciting - can't wait to hear first reports and try it myself!

                                                    1. re: foodiemom10583

                                                      I looked at the Urban Spoon page and it says "This restaurant not yet open. Coming Soon" but there is a phone number listed so we can call ahead if we're in the area to see if they are open.
                                                      (914) 288-9088

                                                      1. re: edgemontfoodie

                                                        No that was three days ago. Today I stopped by and looked in. The inside is all painted and fixed up. There are tons of boxes of dry goods piled up inside. Can't tell if that means they are opening soon, or there's something stopping them from opening. The kitchen didn't look like it was ready yet.

                                            2. Waiting for a good Vietnamese option in Westchester for some time. Just hope they provide good vegetarian/vegan options other than, "please substitute tofu with that."

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: budinado

                                                I stopped by today. Their menu is in the window. Not open yet, though.
                                                The best I can say about veg optons is they have a veg substitute for fish sauce, which to me indicates an awareness of veg needs.
                                                It's a start.

                                              2. Just stopped by. They appear to have all their approved building/electrical permits from the Town of Greenburgh posted in their window, as well as their menu.
                                                The interior looks ready to go.

                                                Saigonese
                                                158 S. Central Ave.
                                                Hartsdale, NY
                                                914-288-9088

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: mrsdebdav

                                                  Yay! Please keep posting updates! Very excited to try it out. I wonder if they know that the chowhound community iswaiting with bated breath for their opening . :-)

                                                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                    Pretty authentic sounding menu ... 'anxiously awaiting the opening! 'Says they'll be open 6 days/week ... Tue-Thurs: 11am-9pm ... Fri & Sat: 11am-10pm ... Sun: Noon-9pm ... Mon: Closed
                                                    I took a photo of menu on my IPhone but it wouldn't post very well without the ability to enlarge. If anyone's wondering if a favorite is on the menu, I'd be happy to check for you :)

                                                    1. re: mtrosellis

                                                      Drove there around noon on Saturday and it is still NOT open. However, we got a look at the menu and it looks like the real deal in that it is not some french colonial fusion thing. They list at least three variations on beef pho and chicken pho (pho ga) along with the usual rice noodle dishes and appetizers. At least the H Mart is nearby so it was not a complete bust (their cafe is really good for the price).

                                                      However, I am now really excited to try this place. Fingers crossed that it is as authentic as the menu looks.

                                                2. Thanks for the hours. Do you remember if there were any mock (soy) chicken or mock beef dishes on the menu? Vegetarian Pho?

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: budinado

                                                    There are vegetarian spring & summer rolls, a vegetarian stir-fry vermicelli & vegetarian hot pot w/tofu & a couple vegetable dishes but no mention of mock chicken or beef & all the pho is w/meat and/or fish & egg.

                                                    1. re: mtrosellis

                                                      Thanks. The vermicelli stir fry sounds very good. I guess nothing can compare with Saigon Shack on McDougal Street in the Village for vegetarian options. It's my "goto" spot whenever I am in lower Manhattan:
                                                      http://saigonshacknyc.com/menu.aspx

                                                      1. re: mtrosellis

                                                        I would say that those options are vegetable based, not necessarily vegetarian or vegan.

                                                      2. re: budinado

                                                        There are no mock meats on the menu.

                                                      3. I stopped by Saigonese about a hour ago and had a short conversation with the Co-Owner. She is now seeing the light at the end of the rather long tunnel.

                                                        Told me, with fingers crossed, that they will be open in two (2) weeks.

                                                        And they do have a few vegetable dishes. Lau Chay-Vegetable Hot Pot, Dau Hu Kho To, Ca Chay Kho To, Bun Xao Chay, and Canh Chua Tamarind Soup.

                                                        My guess is that we will see a very cold opening rather soon. So keep your eyes open as you drive by next few weeks.

                                                        11 Replies
                                                        1. re: Jon1856

                                                          Wonderful news and thanks for the update. I will def update if I see any action. I wonder why there was this delay in opening. Saw all the approved permits in their window weeks ago.

                                                          1. re: mrsdebdav

                                                            Owner gave me a rather long list of problems they had in getting to end of punch/check off list. Roof, gas, equipment et al....Not really all that strange for a resturant. Only matter that I thought rather odd was the gas line or connection. Some how a problem with it was never "caught" before. And it was-right before Sandy. Con-Ed got a bit busy at the point....

                                                            1. re: Jon1856

                                                              Poor guy. Every day he's closed he's losing money.
                                                              Did he tell you when he thinks he will be opening?

                                                              1. re: mrsdebdav

                                                                Yes-She did. As I posted somewhere else within this thread "within two weeks."

                                                                I rather strongly suspect a very cold, soft opening within that time frame.

                                                                Would keep an eye out when on Central Ave next few days or so.....

                                                              2. re: Jon1856

                                                                I do some work with Con Edison and I can tell you that it is not just Sandy, they changed their system for new service and they have lost a lot of the senior people in the last few years due to cutbacks and retirement. What took a month or two now takes 6 months.

                                                                1. re: silverstarfish

                                                                  silverstarfish, with all due respect, what does Sandy have to do with this? When I stopped by this restaurant weeks ago, all the approved permits were posted in the window. I'm not questioning your knowledge base, but I would like to better understand your perspective. Is Con Ed not doing what needs to be done for this business to open? If so, that is yet another appalling factor in their already severely blemished service record.

                                                                  Paul Feiner - where are you in all this? I would hope and expect you support the expeditious opening of local businesses.

                                                                  Not only is this particular restaurant suffering from deprivation of revenue due to delays from whatever sources; future ventures may well be deterred from considering Greenburgh as a viable business location

                                                                  1. re: mrsdebdav

                                                                    mrsdebdav-It would seem, to me, that silverstarfish was commenting on one of my postings. As I posted, among the "list" of opening difficulties that I heard directly from one of the co-owners was a gas pipe problem. And this problem was "found/discovered/realized" just about the very same time as Sandy hit this area. And even co-owner was surprised that it had been over-looked in the past. While I am not sure what the issue was, I have seen the gas-line has been relocated and partially buried. Had been out in the open on right front corner of building-Safety hazard??? And every restaurant, every business has some problems with final punch-list. Co-owner told me some of theirs-general issues. As far as I can tell, nothing at all that Mr. Feiner would do about it and town have very little to do with it out side of building codes et al.

                                                                    1. re: mrsdebdav

                                                                      I don't have any first hand knowledge of this restaurant. All I was trying to say was that if they have issues with Con Edison, it could delay them considerably. I have had many problems with Con Edison in the last year that I never had in the 20 years prior. I know that the Town of Greenburgh has almost no power over these kinds of issues with Con Edison. I also know that Lefteris Gyro had similar problems at Ridge Hill. I spoke to the owner before they opened and he told me that the restaurant was 100% ready to go but, Con Edison had not connected the gas service.

                                                                      1. re: silverstarfish

                                                                        con Edison once delayed a project of mine by six months.

                                                                        1. re: rolise

                                                                          From what I can recall about my direct conversation with co-owner, what ever the issue was with gas line/feeder was delayed directly because of Sandy. And by Sandy she seemed to have meant recovery came before standard no-cost replacement and relocation.

                                                                          And as I posted before she that they had some inside 'touch-up"/finishing work to do and thought that it would be two weeks to some sort of opening.

                                                                          I drove by tonight and did not see any sort of light or activity within.

                                                                          So what ever the delay is now, more than likely not Con-Ed related.

                                                                          I would keep an eye out as if they did not open tonight, sort of doubt that they would open on a weekend.

                                                                          So IF they are ready, would be TWednesday Wendesday of next week..We can all check out over weekend and see if there is anyone to talk to.

                                                                          1. re: Jon1856

                                                                            Last night I drove by on my way home from work (around 6) and there were lights on inside. First time I've seen that.

                                                            2. I see questions about vegetarian/vegan options. In Vietnamese cuisine there are a lot of vegetables. But except for in Buddhist cuisine, there are very few dishes that are actually vegetarian/vegan. Fish sauce, meat broths, and other non-vegetarian ingredients are used in most if not all the vegetable dishes.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: JMF

                                                                Quite right, but Saigonese's menu specified that, for vegetarian dishes, they do not use fish sauce. I believe they said they use a mushroom-based sauce in lieu.I only hope we all live long enough to see this place actually open!

                                                                1. re: mrsdebdav

                                                                  Strange that vegetarian noodle soup is not commonly on Vietnamese menus. Seems like it should be an easy addition. The mushroom based sauces are a good sign that owners recognize the potential for vegetarian/Vegan business in Westchester.
                                                                  I'm hoping for a side menu featuring a variety of Banh Mi sandwiches. Banh Mi would get a LOT of attention.

                                                                  1. re: budinado

                                                                    Pho requires fish sauce (most soups/recipes don't but Pho does) and since they're probably just substituting beef or chicken (as opposed to doing a broth of each), the stock wouldn't be vegetarian anyway. Canh Chua Chay is a classic vegetarian dish and probably the hardest to mess up. The others are clay pot tofu (although this is usually prepared with fish sauce), clay pot vegetarian fish and fried bun noodles (I think Pho Xao works better - but that's just my opinion.). Lau is a pretty ballsy choice...

                                                                    Keep in mind classic VN vegetarian (Chay) food is what you would eat for a Buddhist holiday or at temple - Veggie meat/Veggie Banh Mi/Veggie Pho isn't the kind of thing people eat at temple.

                                                                    Golden Mountain Seasoning is probably the mushroom based sauce...

                                                                    1. re: apathetichell

                                                                      Good report and commentary. But perhaps it would be best to directly ask the Owners or Chef once location opens? From my experiences with them, seem to be rather open to conversations.

                                                              2. Wow, what a thread. 68 posts about a restaurant that is not open. Is this a record?

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: lemarais

                                                                  Maybe for a restaurant but I seem to recall the "Fairway Pelham is Coming" thread being in the hundreds before it actually opened. We just get so excited when something new and different comes to the area. And for LoHud, Vietnamese has been a long time coming.

                                                                    1. re: Sloth

                                                                      I'm happy there's a lively buzz on this board, even for a resto that's not yet open. In the true ChowHound spirit, we're excited at the idea of NOT ANOTHER ITALIAN/PIZZA/PUB FOOD/PSEUDO MEXICANO/TEXICANO restaurant in our area! Vietnamese and Thai are very thinly represented up this way. Looking forward to trying out Saigonese. Bon appetit!

                                                                      1. re: Nancy C

                                                                        Me too, I have been waiting for this place to open. It will be a great change! I hope they will deliver!

                                                                        1. re: liza219

                                                                          I'm beginning to think this restaurant will never open.

                                                                          1. re: scarsdalesurprise

                                                                            This kind of delay can cost someone their business. If they're renting, the rent there is outrageous. If they own, the taxes are outrageous. It's horrible that they've had no income from the place to offset the expenses they incur just for being there.

                                                                            1. re: foodiemom10583

                                                                              I agree - I don't know how long they can hold out without generating any income.

                                                                  1. OK-Ladies and Gents, Boys and Girls-Get on your marks! The "Official" Grand Opening has been set.
                                                                    It will be on......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................The Tuesday, February 5th from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Jon1856

                                                                      OK., So Tues Feb 5 is at 5 pm at 158 S Central Ave. Hartsdale is the opening I gather. Anyone know what the normal business hours will be? I would like to go for lunch on Wednesday.

                                                                      1. re: budinado

                                                                        Well-It could be that they may not even be open for lunch yet.

                                                                        One could just drop by at Noon.
                                                                        Which is just how I found out about their opening and everything else I posted within this thread.

                                                                    2. I just called. They will be open for lunch tomorrow from 11am - 3pm.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: DkNNy79

                                                                        Thanks! We should all wear Chow name tags!!

                                                                        1. re: mrsdebdav

                                                                          Took out soup tonight-was rather good.

                                                                          And it may just be a good idea to "shut down" this thread as they have opened.

                                                                          Will start a new one.
                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/889369