How often do you walk into a contemporary, comfortable and stylish fast food restaurant serving deliciously fresh and gluten-free options?
If your answer is never, that means you still haven’t been to Saigon Jon’s Vietnamese Kitchen.
Located just a few blocks south of the University of Manitoba on Pembina Highway, it’s one of the newest and freshest Vietnamese restaurants in town.
The menu is as easy as 1, 2, and 3 – literally.
One – Choose between Banh Mi (a Vietnamese baguette) half $6.49 & full $9.89, a noodle bowl $9.89, rice bowl $9.89 or a salad for $7.99.
Sirloin beef pho is also on the menu as a separate option, regular $8.99, or “make you strong” for $9.99.
Two – Pick your protein. Choose between ten protein options such as charbroiled chicken, lemongrass shrimp, and hoisin garlic steak. All the proteins are completely gluten-free, including a vegan option.
And Three – just like that, your food is at your table.
The presentation, taste and speed of your meal will blow your mind.
I ordered a charbroiled chicken noodle bowl that came with vermicelli rice noodles, pickled daikon/carrot slaw, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, sprouts, peanuts and fresh mint. It was also served with spring rolls and the choice of sweet and sour or peanut sauce, all served in a single oversized bowl.
The taste experience was unlike anything I have ever had before. The pickled daikon/carrot slaw was crisp and the spring rolls flavor filled.
After eating most of the slaw, I dove in and mixed everything together in the bowl. I was reluctant to mixing such different tastes together but the sweet/sour and house sauce mixed deliciously with the lettuce, daikon/carrot slaw, sprouts, peanuts and mint. It was as if all the flavors and sauces were created to be eaten together and melt in your mouth. With the perfected textures of all the ingredients, it was obvious how fresh everything was.
My guest had the equally tasty hoisin garlic steak rice bowl with the peanut sauce that included all of the same sides as the noodle bowl.
The steak had just the perfect amount of tenderness, and mixed with the peanut sauce was savory. Just like the noodle bowl, everything melted into mouth-watering unison.
I couldn’t decide which bowl I enjoyed more, but luckily I brought my mom so I was able to go back and forth.
The service had a grade to match the great food. The employees were friendly and attentive and always made sure our glasses were full and we had everything we needed.
Saigon Jon’s is unique; not only is everything extremely fresh and in every effort local; but a lot of the sauces and herbs are created right in-house.
Johnny, the owner of Saigon Jon’s, and his staff have perfected the in-house, gluten-free hoisin sauce and are in the process of creating a gluten-free mayo. The Commercial Urban Cultivator in the back kitchen glows to the front of the restaurant and grows herbs such as mint and cilantro.
The affordable prices, delicious food and friendly service will most definitely keep me going back to Saigon Jon’s Vietnamese Kitchen.
You can read more from Riele L. Bailey at http://rieleinreality.wordpress.com/