Thursday, January 12, 2012

Saigon Surface

324 South 14th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
(402) 614-4496
Mon-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 5pm-9pm, Happy Hour 4pm-6pm

Grilled Wild Prawn Vermicelli Bowl:
Bean sprouts, pickled carrots and daikon, lettuce, cucumber, roasted peanuts, herbs.
There's also one Saigon Egg Roll in there, just for good measure.

The signage urges us to "Eat. Drink. Relax." Boy, never heard THAT one before. Doesn't Applebee's use that catchphrase too? Honestly, I can't see myself relaxing too much in their straight-backed, bright white chairs. The decor is sparse and angular, a few degrees from what you'd find at IKEA. Ambient electronica -- or was it downtempo trip hop? -- floated through the air. I've heard they have iPads at the tables, but they must not bust 'em out until dinner. That's ok, I've seen an iPad before. I just wanted lunch. 

It wasn't long before the bell dinged and our semi-awkward young server brought out our app: Three lightly crunchy Saigon Egg Rolls, filled with glass noodles, kurobuta* pork, and shredded shrimp. Unlike the usual chunky mix, these ingredients melded together into a proper filling, forsaking their individual identities for the good of the egg roll. Dip in some of the unobtrusive pepper-flecked oil for a smidge of extra flavor on the flaky wrapper. Dee-lish. The Banh Mi bread was crusty and buttery, and the slightly fatty, crispy-on-the-outside "signature grilled pork" was coated in a sweet soy-esque sauce. What's not to love? As for the Grilled Wild Prawn Vermicelli Bowl, the crunchy veggies and dusting of crushed peanuts over room-temp rice noodles were a nice compliment to the other more "fat person" dishes at the table. 

In the tiny one-person booth barely big enough for my butt, let alone my embarrassingly large purse, I came very close to foodgasm that day at Saigon Surface. Maybe I held it in on purpose cause I was nervous. At least now I know I don't have to fake it at other Vietnamese places around town anymore. 

*Not your average schwein. Known for its juiciness and tenderness. 

Saigon Egg Rolls--

Signature Grilled Pork Banh Mi

I'd have ordered a cocktail if the water wasn't so damn tasty,
with craft ice cubes and intricately peeled cucumber slice.
Gonna hit up happy hour soon. 

Check out this article on comfort food where I mention SS's Oxtail Pho.

Saigon Surface on Urbanspoon

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