Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Saigon Remembered

A few nights before Christmas a friend and I met up for some grub up in Towson. We debated where to eat and I remembered the restaurant conveniently located across the street from the gorgeous Senator Theatre. Perhaps the only Vietnamese restaurant inside the city limits (though one of a handful in the area), Saigon Remembered offers some flavorful Vietnamese food at prices that run about $11 to $16, with a few priced above $20 (right, I'm going to pay that much for dinner if I don't have to).

We went Christmas Eve Eve, and like everything the night before there was lots of room and not many patrons. We had each been before, so we got right to perousing the menu in the middle of much chit chat. My friend does not enjoy seafood - mostly due to the texture - so perhaps his reaction was quite natural when I explained that one ingredient they might have marinated the Vietnamese Steak (which was unbelievably tender) was fish sauce. The best way to describe this condiment is "liquid anchovies" - though it does smell a bit, um, stronger. Stay tuned for another post about some unconventional uses for it.

Having asked about the marinade and informed to his satisfaction that there was no fish sauce in it, my friend ordered the Vietnamese Steak. I went for a pork and shrimp combination dish served over rice noodles with lots of good stuff in it: pickled carrot and jicama shreds, cabbage, ground peanuts, and a side of sweetened fish sauce with thin shreds of carrot mixed in. We treated ourselves first to a helping of deep fried pork spring rolls, which again came with the sauce. We both liked the sauce, so I don't think he knew what was actually in it! But oh well...

So the main dishes come out, and my friend gets a knife and fork for his steak, which actually comes out in lots and lots of little cubes instead of one big steak. It was still absolutely delicious, as I found out when I tried one little cube of his steak. I offered him some of my combo, but he was too wrapped up in the steak. And even though I am ordering the steak next time, I did like what I got. Everything was just plain good. Nothing fancy, but well made.

With iced tea and tip, the total came to about $40 (his cost a little more than mine). Next time I go to the Senator, I am anglin' for that steak.

5 comments:

D's C said...

You gotta try the #25 wonton soup... out of this world, with noodles, basil, pork.. oh la la. The best-tasting thing in town.

Baltmore Snacker said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll get that the next time I go - that and the Vietnamese Steak :).

danielle said...

I don't know why I've never been there. I'm no stranger to Govans having gone to Loyola and then working as a community organizer assigned to that area. I've also always heard good things. And I do like fish sauce.

Dan said...

Greetings from a fellow Baltimore (area) food blogger. Some friends and I went to Saigon Remembered a few months ago and loved it. I also had the Vietnamese Steak and if you go back you have to try the Basil Mussels. You can read my full write up at The Hungover Gourmet blog. If they're open we'll be headed back there on New Year's Day after some duckpin bowling.

Baltmore Snacker said...

Hmmm... Basil Mussels. Sounds yummy! I'll read the bllog, thanx!