Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cheap bánh mì at Saigon Fare Cafe

Saigon Fare Cafe on Urbanspoon Saigon Fare Cafe is a surprisingly big diner. It is essentially clean and spacious, but some elements are dilapidated, like a cracked tabletop held together by tape. It looks like a cheap hole-in-the-wall and it basically is.
Staff are friendly and the short lady who runs the place and does the cooking feels like your aunt (the nice one).

Spicy Pork Bánh Mì ($3.95)
  • Approximately 9" long.
  • This was the special-of-the-day and not on the regular menu.
  • By "spicy" it means pork marinated in spice, in this case, soy and anise braised pork. She did offer to put some chili peppers in it if I wanted it hot-spicy, but I declined.
  • The sandwich was by no means overflowing with filling, but it still works out to about 2½ cheap hamburgers.
  • Slices of meat were quite thick, at maybe 4 millimeters or close to a quarter-inch.
  • This felt like a really cheap eat and just one sandwich was good enough to be a filling lunch meal.
Spring Rolls ($2.50 for one, $7.25 for three)
  • Under no circumstances should you order this.
  • Long, thin "spring roll" -- slightly thinner than an El Monterey Taquito.
  • The spring roll wrap apparently loves oil because this deep fried item was quite oily.
  • Barely any taste, made worse by what tasted like plum sauce, watered down with water and/or vinegar.
  • The filling was vermicelli, token other stuff that looked like carrot and red lettuce and peanut.
  • Considering that three of them won't add up to a single bánh mì, stick to the cheap Vietnamese baguettes here.
Rambutan Tropical Fruit Crusher ($4)
  • Canned rambutan plus shaved ice.
  • You can get exotic tropical fruit for under $3 per can at Superstore, and each can will probably contain three times as much fruit. So this works out to about a typical price for a made-in-store drink.
  • If you are feeling cheap, hike it to Superstore, which is not that far away, and get a drink there. This week, a tall can of T.A.S. coconut water was just 98 cents.

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