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News From The Midwest – Restaurant Review: Saigon.

- Grant

Hello! My name is Grant, and I am the newest Teen Travel Talk blogger, representing the Midwest. I am also Alex’s cousin.

The Midwest has many excellent restaurants, whether they be small, cheap, ethnic spots, restaurants with more expensive cuisine, menus derived from local ingredients, burger joints, and everything in between. Once to twice a month, I will write a restaurant review about a restaurant in the Midwest.

Our journey begins in St. Paul, Minnesota on University Avenue, laden with phenomenal, authentic Asian restaurants. This three-mile-long section of University Avenue is plausibly the best place in the Midwest to eat Asian food, as it encompasses multiple nationalities and because of the breadth of top-quality options.

One of University Avenue’s best restaurants is Saigon, which serves some of the best Vietnamese food in the Twin Cities. For years, Saigon sat in an old, light-blue, former Long John Silver’s, but recently relocated to newer digs. Thankfully, the food quality hasn’t suffered since moving, and, as of recent, is better than ever before.

Saigon is renowned for their Bánh mì and Phở. Bánh mì is a Vietnamese sandwich, filled with your choice of Vietnamese meats (vegetarians, don’t worry: there are vegetarian options, too), picked daikon and julienned carrots, Bánh mì butter, cilantro, and jalapeños; this amalgam of ingredients (yes, even the jalapeños) make for the, in my opinion, best tasting sandwich known to humankind, and Saigon’s execution of this classic is top-notch, with a perfect-sized bun and excellent balance between ingredients. Phở is a Vietnamese noodle soup and proven cold killer, given you liberally add Hoisin and Sriracha sauces to the broth, which, in my opinion, enhances the taste. There are many different varieties of Phở, my favorite being seafood (which, at Saigon, contains squid, shrimp, and other seafood). Saigon recently started a contest called the “Phở Challenge”, where the contestant has to eat a massive, 10-pound bowl of Phở in 45 minutes or less. If the contestant wins, they receive a t-shirt with a catchy slogan; if they lose, they have to pay $15.

While Saigon does not have an official website, here is a link to their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Saint-Paul-MN/SAIGON-RESTAURANT-SAINT-PAUL/129743374913?v=wall&ref=ts

If you’re ever in the Twin Cities, stop by Saigon for “Phở-nomenal” food.


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