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Vietnam Restaurant lost a Vietnamese food trial versus Cordon Bleu

Vietnam Restaurant
620 Broadway/Columbus Ave., SF
Map This Restaurant

Pretrial hearing at Spec's
11/03/01

McClure

On the border of China and Italy you'll find Vietnam, the restaurant that is. Just a few paces from the fun of North Beach and the exotic flavors of Chinatown. Vietnam is your basic hole in the wall with a most friendly staff serving up all those Vietnamese delights you enjoy. At least my favorite. If you've had the pleasure of reading any of my previous reviews of Vietnamese cuisine then you know what I'm talkin' about. Yup, good ol' Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio, the dish that is as much a mouthful to say as it is to eat. It's a hard dish to pass up, what with the grilled pork, imperial rolls, and rice noodles. At Vietnam they do a great job of it: tasty meat, crispy rolls served up in large portions for the amazing low price of $4.25. Just pour a little of that special sauce over your bowl, mix it all up, and feast away.

We tried a couple appetizers and ran into a bit of trouble with the ordering. We had an order of the imperial rolls ($3.50), same as the ones you get in the B.T.N.C.G. You can never have enough of those crispy deep fried eggrolls and that delicious dippin' sauce. The Spring Rolls ($3.50) were so-so, nothing great but they do come with a nice peanut sauce to drench 'em in. We thought we ordered pork but ended up with shrimp. I believe that had to do with us not knowing how to speak Vietnamese and them not speaking too much English. Anyways I don't think they would have been much better with the pork.

The service is quick and the staff serves up the goods with a smile. If you're headed out for a night on the town and you want something a little different from the same old Italian/Chinese fare, then stop on by Vietnam and fill your belly for a reasonable price.

 

Turner

Continuing in our search for fine Vietnamese greasy spoons, we bring you Vietnam Restaurant. A simple name for a simple Vietnamese grub house. For a quick and cheap bite before plunging into North Beach for the evening, I recommend it. Much like Cordon Bleu, the atmosphere is extremely understated and casual. Nonexistent, perhaps, unless you call dining in someone's kitchen "atmosphere." But heck, we judges enjoy that kind of thing.

Of course we all had to get the Bun Thit Whatchamacallit thing, and it was quite decent. Hard to go wrong with this Viet noodle salad dish, with your grilled pork and crunchy rolls, veggies, noodles, and whatnot. What can I say, they serve up a good one fast and cheap while you sit at the tiny counter staring at cans of Cafe du Monde coffee through plexiglass. Or was that real glass?

They screwed up one of our appetizer orders and brought us those fresh spring roll things, with shrimp. Of course fried is better, but these weren't bad. A lot of mint in there, though.

All in all a nice addition to the Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall dining resource list. And if you're looking for a cheap no-frills Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong (and who isn't?), then drop on by.

 

Vardigan

The Bun to the Thit to the Nuong to the Cha to the Gio. I don't know if it's possible to screw one of these up. I've never had one I didn't enjoy. Come to think of it, I've never disliked an imperial roll either. Which is an integral piece of the B.T.N.C.G. It's the C and the G part. Since we all chose that for our main course, and had imperials for an appetizer, a satisfying meal was nearly ensured.

The füd here doesn't quite hold up against champions like Minh's, but it's solid, and I'm not sure you can't beat the prices anywhere.

There are a couple tables in back, and then some counter seating where you can look at rows of condensed milk cans. Being just off Columbus, Vietnam Restaurant is a fine choice for cheap eats in North Beach when Italian isn't what you want.

 

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