30 Oct 2007 @ 4:26 AM 

It’s been a while since I posted anything.  I have been out to eat a few times recently and I have yet to actually SAY anything about it.  So much for being an ACTIVE critic.  That being said, I managed to go to Saigon recently.  It was on a Thursday and my wife was out of town.  I decided to take the gaggle of kids out for dinner.  As it so happens, they yet again couldn’t decide what they wanted for dinner.  Some were kicking around fast food and as usual, the youngest was whining for Sushi.  Not that I mind eating at Hiro, but I wasn’t (and don’t tell Sammy) in the mood for Sushi.  So as we were driving around, I decided that I hadn’t been to Saigon in a long while.  It was time for a re-visit.

If you have never been too Saigon in Omaha, it had to have been a diner at one point.  The layout screams greasy spoon.  It has been retro-fitted with bamboo and other interesting oriental lanterns and pottery.  The interior is a nice avocado and the tables are rattan.  Not bad.  It gives you an idea that you’re not in for typical “Ameri-Oriental” fare.

 Please understand that I had the demolition crew with me, so at least 25% of my attention was diverted to “sit down”, “put that down”, “stop that”, and “Do you want to go sit in the car?”.  So, I am going to ease up on some things this time around. (Not too much mind you.  I still have to protect my culinary integrity.)  Let the review commence!

As I pull up, I notice that there are a few cars there.  For me, I have noticed that Saigon is never that busy.  There is always someone there, but the place is never teeming with full tables.  Yeah, tonight was busy.  Busier than I have seen in… in…  well, ever.  Every section had at least 2 or 3 tables with people in it.  So I stand there with the kids waiting to be seated.  It took a bit as I saw the only waiter in the place running back and forth between tables.  When he had a moment he came and sat us.  He handed us menus and he was gone.  We then waited.

We then waited some more.

Finally he came over.  He took our drink order and I kind of slid my food order in.  I ordered 2 orders of Vietnamese egg rolls and an order of spring rolls.  The kids, if I remember right (I should write this down) ordered Pho, Seafood Pan Fried Noodles, Some beef dish, and Shrimp Fried Rice.  I ordered the “74 B” which is their curried squid.  After I said that, the waiter suggested that I order some calamari.  As he put it “We have really good calamari.”  Sure!  Hit me with an order.  He entered his order into his PDA and off he went.  Then we waited.

After some time he showed back up with 4 cans of soda, ice in glasses and my very weak iced tea.   The waiter left and more people began to filter in.  I watched him seat people and dart in and out of the kitchen.  We waited some more.  Eventually, an order of spring rolls, an order of calamari and a single order of egg rolls came out of the kitchen to our table. (Yes, as a matter of fact I did order two.)  The troops and I attacked in full force.  The poor squid never knew what hit them. ;)  The squid was lightly battered, crisp, and hot.  They were served with a peanut sauce that was fantastic.  The spring rolls, were tasty and when fueled with the sauce from the calamari, were real good.  You could tell that they were made earlier in the day as they were not quite fresh.  They weren’t bad by any means, but they had that “I have been exposed in a fridge for a little bit” texture to them.  I’m a little bummed because I never got a chance to try the egg-rolls.  The kids nuked them before I got a chance. (Hence why I wanted 2 orders…)  My drink was empty and my appetizers were gone.  What did I do next?  I waited.  I waved him down once and got another tea, but then I got to wait some more.
Eventually the food came out.  It smelled divine.  I love curry and I adore squid.  Here we are and I had two awesome things mixed together.  I have to say I was ecstatic.  It was a brown sauce, with a mild curry overtone.  the sauce reminded me of a curry/beef/oyster sauce with a little sweet to it.  It blended perfectly with the onions, rice, and squid and by the time I was done, I wanted to lick the plate.  What I tasted of the kids food was very, very good. 

Overall impression: I liked it.  Ok, I loved the food.  It’s reasonable and the portions are good.  The decor is eclectic, and it’s pretty clean.  It’s been around a while so they must be doing something right.  When you look around, there were several oriental families there, so the food must be right.

Plusses: The food was very good.  The portions were good size and I felt I got a good value.  The sauce lingers in my mind and I want to go upstairs and make squid and curry because of it.  It was very tasty.  They server was very friendly without being annoying.  The kids loved the food too.

Minuses: There was a single server that was running his butt off.  I think he was a little overwhelmed.  This caused the service to be SLOW and I had to knock off some points for waiting and having to ask for my tea refilled.  If the service had matched the food, I would have given the place a higher rating.


~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 30 Oct 2007 @ 04:33 AM



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