okgourmet.com    Home of Steve's Restaurant Reviews

Saigon Café

4515 50th St.
Lubbock, TX
(806) 788-1367

Even though Lubbock is full of Americanized Asian restaurants, I don't believe this to be the case with Saigon Café. There are a number of dishes that were new to me when I first started going here, and although they may be strange to a lot of people, there is a photo of each one on the wall as you approach the counter to order. I believe this is the correct way to run an Asian restaurant-- instead of changing the food for "American" tastes, ease people into the traditional food by explaining it, providing photos, and making it so delicious they will want to come back to try something else.

Most of the time I have ordered the Rice Vermicelli Noodle Bowl. The vegetables, spices, and flavorings do not quite live up to versions I have found in some other cities, but if the dish here is inferior it is not by a significant margin. This makes a light, healthy, and excellent tasting lunch or dinner.

The best dish I have tried, however, is the Vietnamese Style Hot and Sour Soup-- a delicious and inexpensive concoction of a thick soup stock with fish or other meat items served in a hot pot (you could easily pay twice as much at restaurants in other cities and not get a soup this good).

The cuisine here should probably be called "Vietnamese street food," and I would use the term as a compliment. With items such as Banh Mi Bo Kho (beef banh mi sandwich) and a wide variety of spicy and non-spicy dishes, it could serve as an elegant dinner or as "Asian fast food." The low prices make it possible to try a variety of things.



Cuisine: Vietnamese
Cost: $
Hours: Closed Sun.
Tea: Jasmine (bags)
Smoking: No Smoking
Buffet: No

Most Recent Visit
Jul. 12, 2003

Number of Visits: 10+

Best Items
Rice Vermicelli Dishes, Vietnamese Hot & Sour Soup

Special Ratings
Vermicelli Dishes:
Vietnamese Hot & Sour Soup: