Thursday, September 27, 2012

Scenes of Sao Mai - Vietnamese in the East Village

As I am headed home today, I cannot wait to plow my face into a bowl of my mom's pho.  It's hard to explain to people how New York could possibly be so lacking in a good bowl of pho, but I think if they tasted a sip of my mom's finest, they'd begin to understand.

Still, a visit home does not come home as often as I'd like, and the search in our fair city continues.

This time at Sao Mai.

Vietnamese ice coffees dripped.

Mango lemonades were sipped.

Vegetarian and grilled pork spring rolls were ordered.

Grilled pork with steamed vermicelli rounds (banh hoi) were enjoyed

alongside vermicelli noodle bowls

and steaming bowls of raw beef pho (pho tai).

The place is comfortable and casual, and especially fun with good friends.  (Don't mind the awkward looking vegan who crashed this meaty party.)

But it's merely okay for Vietnamese cuisine.  It's actually not that bad.  The spring rolls had a nice balance of vermicelli noodles to vegetable and meat filling.  The pho is only a tinge musty, and the pork is classically marinated.

Han's Nonsensical Rating: It'll do the trick, but no minds will be blown.

Sao Mai
203 1st Ave
New York, NY
Sao Mai on Urbanspoon

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