Fresh Green Stuff

We’ve been trying to get more takeout to support local restaurants, but one thing I find tricky about that is getting enough fresh green stuff. I don’t really want salads in winter; I have a hard time motivating to eat them when I’m cold. So far, Vietnamese is a helpful option for me — I can have a fresh spring roll, and that clean crisp herby goodness just tastes right.

And then the hot pho soup is fun, because it comes in its component parts for freshness, and you get to assemble it to your liking. Kevin gets the rare beef; I like the seafood one, spicy and tangy, which has shrimp and clam and fish balls and mussels and crab. That’s just the soup itself — it comes with masses of delicate rice noodles, fresh Thai basil and sliced jalapeƱos, red onion, cilantro, lots of bean sprouts (more crispy veggie goodness), plus some rare beef too, and the sauce (some sweet, some spicy).

You put it all together in your bowl (one order of pho ($13.95) is enough for 2 full meal servings for me), and the beef cooks in the hot broth and it feels like healthy deliciousness as you eat. You can also order just broth for $5, or extra noodles for $2, or extra rare steak for $5, etc, so once you know how you like your pho, you can easily figure out how to inexpensively stretch it for another meal or two.

When I’m feeling indulgent, I get myself a little fried catfish in claypot — it comes in a rich, spicy sauce, served with rice, and I won’t claim the deep-fried part is particularly healthy, but I typically just have a little at a time, and fish is good for you.

Other recommended dishes I didn’t get tonight, but have enjoyed greatly in the past: green papaya salad, the Saigon sandwich (French bread with Vietnamese ham and pork pate, spread with mayo and filled with cucumber, pickled carrot, white radish, jalapeno and cilantro), bubble tea. My kids like the fried rice and the BBQ pork with rice.

The full menu is here:…/507659-saigon-pho-cafe/menu/

I linked that menu because the online ordering menu through GrubHub seems very truncated, but if you call for pickup, they’re happy to have you order off the full menu.



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