Bouncing around the East Village looking for somewhere new and/or I haven’t been yet I come upon Sao Mai Vietnamese, check out the menu in the window…liked it and since I’m with my cuz that I traveled thru southern Vietnam with a couple of years ago decided to pop in. Sao Mai Vietnamese has a nice sized very reasonably priced menu with most items under $10 and entrees top out in the early $20’s. I proceeded to order up in my Brooklynese inflected Vietnamese the Goi Cuon (Shrimp Summer rolls) which I think just about everyone sitting by us started with. They were fresh and minty in a yummy dipping sauce.

Since it was pretty cold night out we ordered up the Pho(soup with thin noodles) Beef Special that had beef round, brisket and beef balls. The beef round was my favorite of the meats with the beef balls being a bit dense for me. The broth was nice and  fragrant and came with fresh basil and jalapeno in the side to add to the soup as desired. We also shared an order of Lemongrass Shrimp Com Dia (broken rice) which was very good…reminiscent of a like dish I had in Nha Trang, Vietnam. We drank tea since it was so cold out , but of note they carry a nice selection of beers for only $4 and a number of non alcoholic beverages like Vietnamese Ice Coffee ,Preserved Lemon soda, and Mango Lemonade for example for only $3.

Service is good, it’s a cool little space and gets a pretty good looking crowd. For food this tasty at these price points, it  reminds one of why NYC is such an awesome food city…a great meal need not cost a fortune while still tasting like it did…

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Sao Mai Vietnamese is located at …2nd Avenue


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