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“Any restaurant's Pho is only as good as its broth”
Review of Saigon

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Saigon
Ranked #199 of 620 Restaurants in Portland
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Restaurant details
Reviewed 1 February 2018

I've tried Saigon a few times within the past year, and my experiences have been from fair to awful. The interior is cozy and attractive, the staff are friendly, but my overall impression is that they like to cut corners, and that unfortunate tendency ends up reflecting on their food and other aspects of their restaurant. First, their Pho broth is terrible... watery, almost no flavor unless you add a bunch of condiments to it. It almost tastes like the leftover water from when hot dogs are boiled. My friend and I dined there recently, he got Pho Gai (chicken Pho) and I had a beef Pho. The broths were both the same weak, unidentifiable (pork?) broth broth with barely any flavor. I've never been to any other Vietnamese restaurant that doesn't make Pho Gai with actual chicken broth. The Pho is barely OK when you add a bunch of condiments to it, but on its own, tastes like the person who made it didn't care at all about what they were doing and were in a big hurry. As I said, the lax attitude reflects in other things: we had just placed our order and were being served the complimentary appetizer cups of some velvety-textured soup (which was far better than our main course), when the Pho main course appeared on our table literally a minute later, before we'd even tasted our appetizer. The last two times I've eaten there they never bothered to clear any empty dishes off the table even after we were finished and they gave us the check. This is despite the fact that they weren't that busy. Simply a lazy attitude that reflects both in their food and their service.

To be fair, the ingredients were fresh and their menu offers a decent variety. I don't think I'll be eating there again though. Up until a few years ago there was an amazing and far less expensive restaurant called Pho Hanoi in South Portland, where the broth was amazing, rich with beef or chicken flavor, the aromas of star anise and other spices that would just make your mouth water when your order was set down in front of you... the qualities that REAL Pho should have to be considered legitimate. There, they had over a dozen jars of authentic Vietnamese condiments at every table, where at Saigon it's just Sriracha and hoisin sauce in yellow and red plastic bottles.

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Thank bangordiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 - 5 of 41 reviews

Reviewed 22 August 2017

Saigon has always been our to go place for Pho.
Unfortunately, we either hit them on a bad night or things are going downhill.
We came in early evening and were the only other patrons besides a man finishing his meal. We were given silverware and menus and left alone. After some time, enough time passed to wonder if we should just leave, a young man brought us water and took our orders. I ordered, as I always do a beef and tendon medium Pho. We were served the usual accompaniments and again left alone for some time. When the Pho finally arrived, there was not a piece of tendon to be found. We weren't approached again until they brought the bill. I just wish they would have said we're out of tendon. I would have gone across the street, which is probably why they didn't. I will think twice about Saigon in the future, which is unfortunate since they do serve my favorite broth.

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Thank sammiefrommaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 21 June 2017 via mobile

Delightful meal recommended by the sweet young waitress. Everything so fresh and delicious. I'll definitely be back. Perfect summer meal tonight!!!

Thank Ann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 13 March 2017

I have been to Saigon mostly for Pho many times. I really enjoy it. It is a friendly staff, great for take out or eat in. The owner often greets with a big smile and makes one feel like a true friend. I love that when I come in to pay for take out they give me tea as I wait.

Friendly and accommodating with good food. Parking can be tight but I have never been unable to find a spot.

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Thank Joyfullyinme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 21 February 2017

We live in Syracuse NY so when we come to visit our sons we always coe here for a bowl of Pho. My husband as well as all of us love it. The best we ever had & the service always #1. Thank you for your Pho!

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Thank nomrapetote
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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