We finally did it–checked out one of the few Vietnamese restaurants in this whole area. There is a small community hidden away here, but their food is still a novelty to average Ohioans. We had had to postpone our Chinese xmas ‘tradition’, so this was our plan B. Maybe a new ‘tradition’? And well worth the wait.
Little Saigon is literally a little hole in the wall mom-and-pop (actually I think mother and daughter) place that you wouldn’t even glance at twice, unless you read the reviews and/or are Vietnamese. It looks like a shack from the road, but it’s a pleasant, though plain, sit-down room inside.
I had done some homework, so I could order a good representative selection. Naturally, pho was up at the top of my list. The nice older lady was like a mom, showing us (with our permission) how to eat each dish hands-on STS in the authentic manner, and helping me pronounce the food names. It helped to have watched all the shows about eating street food all over the world, which is almost how we felt, sitting there, having a friendly conversation with her. It helped that my brother had been on a bicycle tour of Vietnam, and raved about the food!
The portions were ginormous, more like three meals, so we had to take most of it home. The few dishes I paused from devouring long enough to take photos of only scratch the surface. Most of them didn’t last long enough to become photos. We tried three different kinds of spring rolls dipped in sauces, a bún rice vermicelli dish full of yummy things, a banh xeo savory vegetarian crepe that you wrap up with cilantro in lettuce and dip in sauce, and two kinds of pho with lots of fresh sprouts and cilantro. (Sorry I don’t know how to print all the Viet accents, of which there are many!)
The verdict: we love Vietnamese food.