Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Saigon Palace in Charlotte

Banh Xeo - yellow pancake stuffed with shrimp, bean sprouts and pork. You wrap the pancake in the large lettuce leaf and pour the spiced fish sauce over it.

For Father's Day weekend I headed to NC to see my father, as well as my aunt (visiting from El Salvador), my uncle and aunt (visiting from Boston), cousins (visiting from Chapel Hill) and more cousins (also from Atlanta. We had a great time, beginning with a feast Friday night at Saigon Palace, one of my favorite Vietnamese places in Charlotte. Overall this place is great because there is never a problem getting in with a large group and the service is nice. The food is not as good as a couple of other Charlotte Vietnamese spots (like Lang Van, one of my all time favorite restaurants), but the banh xeo is a winner and overall it's a fabulous, low-key spot for a group interested in talking and eating rather than being with the "in-crowd".

Banh Xeo is my favorite Vietnamese dish and I've not found it very prevalent in Atlanta. Any ideas?! I know they have it at Nam and at Lee's Bakery - anyplace else? In general I feel Charlotte's Vietnamese places are more robust, with fuller menus than Atlanta establishments. This is puzzling as Atlanta is certainly larger and probably has more native Vietnamese people. Hmmmmm....

Fresh spring roll with peanut sauce and sriracha.

Banh Xeo - ready to eat!

Squid sauteed with tomatoes and onions (left) and Vietnamese curry with chicken.

Vermicelli noodle bowl with shrimp and spring roll.

Shrimp with broccoli.

Saigon Palace on Urbanspoon