Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Little Saigon, Orlando Florida
So, I've created a monster. Craig has never been a fan of Chinese food or any other Asian food. Apparently having grown up in a small southern town in Georgia didn't lend itself to him having many "good" Chinese food experiences.
I, on the other hand grew up about 20 minutes out of Manhattan (in New Jersey) and had regular access to China Town and other types of cuisine. Although my parents meat and potatoes upbringing didn't call for my Dad asking my Mom to order Chinese food on a Friday night, I still had friends who enjoyed it. So as a teenager, we'd go to the mall and get eggrolls or stop in Sam's Chinatown on the corner of Beverwyck Road in Lake Hiawatha and eat. Wonder if that place is still around? It reminded me of the movie, A Christmas Story, or as my sister and I called it the "You'll shoot your eye out..." movie. But, I digress...
When Friday night date night came up recently, I decided Craig needed to try Vietnamese food. I mean, he survived PF Changs and loved it, even begged to go back, so I figured how horrible could this be, right?
I hadn't been to Little Saigon on Colonial Drive in Orlando in years. They've upgraded the inside, even cleaned up the main street entrance; however, I was sure I was at the right place when we went around back to park. The back entrance is as it always was, pretty grim. You have to cross a "moat" made from a wooden pallet to get to the door. The "moat" was filled with, well let's say, um...water and the smell of yesterday's food lingering in the hot summer night air is, well...just as I remembered it.
But, once inside you stop wondering about what that "water" really was and start thinking about eating because it smells great. We started out with Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce. I was so excited to eat them, I forgot to take a picture! But, they were, as usual GREAT!
For the main course, I ordered the shrimp and broccoli and Craig got a "soup aside" as the waiter pronounced it. His "soup aside" consisted of a cup of broth, a side plate of jalapenos, bean sprouts, limes, and herbs (pictured), and a big bowl of cooked noodles, pork, crab, shrimp, more bean sprouts and some brown sauce. When you combine them all together, they make what Craig calls "Cup-of-Soup". Both were delicious although we both preferred the dish I ordered. Wash all that down with a nice bottle of White Zin from Barefoot Bay and you've got a great and inexpensive meal.
Surprisingly Craig thought the food was good, but kind of bland...so the next stops on our culinary travels will be Thai and Indian food (mmmm, I can't wait!)