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Trang Viet Cuisine decline? (Tampa)

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andy huse Feb 12, 2013 01:46 PM

new owners? certainly new workers. very disappointing lunch special, something i've ordered many times. soup and app were fine, but lunch itself was a child's portion, so small i thought there was a mistake. There was no mistake. server explained food costs are rising. "so charge me more and give me a real lunch," i said. she said the normal menu items were larger. still a disappointment, especially for a place i've known and loved for so long. couldn't they pad it with some noodles and veg? the portion was gone in two minutes. it may have fed a vegan or a child, but not me. at $6.95, the portion is far too small. how about a "man's portion" for another $3?

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    Noice Feb 15, 2013 11:23 PM

    I haven't noticed any change in portion size, but I have noticed we just don't gravitate to the place as much as we used to. I think the food has more or less held up, but the atmosphere in there is the definition of dismal, IMHO. I don't ask for the world at that price point, but I do ask for some effort.

    Yes, I am usually "just here for the food", but I get depressed just thinking about voluntarily sitting in that bad lighting/carpet/fake plant combination for an entire meal, whether it's day or night outside. I'll check it out again as soon as I can, though, and see if I can focus on food only and re-assess.

    Do you remember which lunch special you had?

    We've been ending up at Saigon Bay across the street pretty often lately, and like it pretty well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Noice
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      andy huse Feb 18, 2013 09:32 AM

      i had the typical grilled meat over rice noodles. Trang used to give you three skewers. This time, it was a few scraps scattered over the very small bowl of noodles and veg. she said the regular menu items are still the same size. but why punish patrons who come in for a lunch special?

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      tony noriega Feb 14, 2013 05:16 AM

      When Andy turned me on to this restaurant a couple of years ago I thought it was the best Vietnamese food I'd ever had (best Asian for that matter) so I'm sorry to hear it's possibly in a slide. Have been back several times but not for a while. So....if not Trang, what's the next best?

      1 Reply
      1. re: tony noriega
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        andy huse Feb 15, 2013 08:49 AM

        Pho An Hoa on waters is very good, but the menu is not as extensive as Trang's. Pho Quyen is also quite good, especiallt the Hillsborough ave location.

      2. Mild Bill Feb 12, 2013 05:58 PM

        Glad you posted and glad you said something.... I had the EXACT same situation at Pipo's Cafe in Carrolwood when I ordered the Picadillo.... It was like 3/4 cup of Picadillo and a cup of yellow rice... Gone in 60 seconds... When I stood up to go 5 minutes after I got there, they asked how it was and I told them; "it was tasty and you guys were nice, but it was a child's portion---- I feel I just thru $8.95 out the window---- now I have to think again about what to have for lunch"...

        Why can I get a full (often decent to darn good) Indian, Chinese, or soul-food lunchtime buffet for $8.00, but other restaurants can't present a decent single plate of food?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mild Bill
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          gfr1111 Feb 16, 2013 11:04 AM

          Mild Bill,
          As Andy said, charge me more, but give me a decent sized portion! Despite "spin" to the contrary, the recession rolls on and restaurant owners want a low price to appear on the menu, more than they want to give a reasonable portion.

          Also, I think that the incessant propaganda about how we are all eating too much, are too fat, etc. contributes to reducing portion size--not from any health concern, but to for restaurant owners to save money.

          Or, my suggestion is to offer two portion sizes: Lilliputian and Regular, as Carrabba's now does. That way, girls, vegetarians, health nuts and "the Pleasure Police" (as radio personality Cigar Dave puts it) can starve themselves, and the rest of us can get on with enjoying life.

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