Best Bites: Saigon Bistro
There are seven varieties of pho on the menu, but you won't find dishes like those listed under "Classic Noodle Soups" anywhere else. I recommend the Mi Vit Tiem. Though the dish is described as stew, it is composed of crispy duck, rice noodles and veggies floating in a pho-like broth and accompanied by the usual mix-ins of lime, bean sprouts and basil. Despite the abundance of big flavors, the dominant (and most delicious) is the caramelized garlic, which floats throughout the cinnamon-flecked potage.
I am an absolute sucker for bun – rice noodles with fresh veggies and meat – and Saigon Bistro's is the best I've had. I order the peanut-topped delight with red pork that's reminiscent of cha siu, without the sometimes-cloying sweetness. Every bite is a burst of spring, exploding with fresh mint, cucumbers and carrots.
Wash it all down with a coconut. That's right, a hollowed-out coconut comes to your table with straws in it. The sweet water within is a novelty, but it's not as unique as the salty limeade — as much a zesty pickle brine as a sweet sip. And yes, that is a recommendation. In fact, no matter how exotic a dish sounds, at Saigon Bistro, it's all approachable, and delicious. Just go for it.