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Saigonese, Grandview Avenue in Wheaton

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This place has been around for a while. I've wondered about it every time we go to Moby Dick across the street. Anyone have an opinion?

I've never been to Saigonese, but a quick look at their website makes me think their heart lies slightly deeper in their vegetarian dishes, which are more interesting (at least on paper) than their meat selections, which tread dangerously close to bad Chinese.



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I recall a long ago meal at Saigonese, well actually I don't recall it and we had never been back. But there was a mention of a new Bahn Mi shop in Wheton and I saw that Saigonese had a sign mentioning Bahn Mi yesterday and so I stopped by. I tried three: Tofu, red meat, ham. They are not listed on the menus in English and even in Viet Namese only on the paper take out menu as I could see. Yet if you ask, they have a little binder with pictures of them. I think there is a buy 5 get 6 deal.

They were all good and at $2.50 a steal. Each one measures about 7 to 9" long. The bready was a little crusty and very much white French roll with a nice balance of soft, white bread crumb and crunchy crust.

The tofu was freshly fried tofu with a nice carrot, celery and cilantro slaw, mayo and some other stuff. My favorite.

Red meat is pork belly, steamed to a softness that renders some fat and leaves a nice oily/greasy texture behind. There was some pate {liverwurt-like in style}, the slaw and mayo studded with a few cili slivers. Needed more heat to be as good as the tofu but damned good.

The ham suffered from the ham being not very flavorful. Again, pate and slaw. The only one I would not order again.

Definitely tied for the best grab & go lunch bargain in Wheaton right now along with Max's.

May be worth exploring some of the rest of the menu.

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I tried to get bahn mi from Song Phat on Wednesday, but they are closed on Wednesdays, so I drove across the triangle to Saigonaise and bought three to take home: grilled pork, grilled chicken and "meatball." The verdict? I should have driven across the river to the Eden Center. Bread was bland & dry, and the fillings were skimpy. Don't bother.

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