Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Vietnamese Restaurants for Taste, Value

If you happen to live in or travel in an area with significant French influence, you probably already know how delicious Vietnamese food can be. In Montreal, Vietnamese restaurants are plentiful and usually both good and reasonably priced.
My long time favourite is Au 14 Prince Arthur, near the corner of St. Laurent Boulevard. This used to be my local restaurant, where I enjoyed many great meals of caramel ginger chicken or spring plate, and a friend raved about the asparagus and crabmeat soup. The price was right, too, under $15 with a beer and tip.
I haven't been back for a while, but from what I read it is still good. Another reasonably-priced choice is Chez Tung in Cote des Neiges, a little more upscale. At the corner of Cote des Neiges and Cote Ste. Catherine, Pho Lien is a popular place for its hearty pho soup. At lunchtime, workers from the nearby Jewish General Hospital line up to get in. I have eaten there, but wasn't impressed with my choice, which was not soup.
There are more than 20 other Vietnamese restaurants in Montreal, and most receive good online reviews at sites like
Vietnamese refugees tended to congregate in places like Montreal and Paris because Vioetnam was a French colony for many years, and they learned the language. Paris and other French cities also have many places serving Vietnamese food, and they are often a less expensive choice than traditional French restaurants. The Website has some reviews of Vietnamese restaurants in France.
More recently, Vietnamese immigrants flooded to places like Washington, DC, and southern California and many opened eating establishments. Two I have tried and liked in Washington are Miss Saigon and Viet Georgetown, both in historic Georgetown
If you have never tried this cuisine, I recommend it for its intricate blend of flavours and spices and its plentiful use of vegetables.


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