Sunday, July 12, 2009

Doyers Vietnamese Restaurant

Chinatown has always had its share of good Vietnamese Restaurants. From the stretch of Vietnamese restaurants on Baxter Street from Bayard to Canal, to Nha Trang on Centre Street, Vietnamese food never disappointed me on taste or on price. Doyers Vietnamese Restaurant on 11 Doyers Street, was our new discovery two weekends ago. I always knew about this restaurant but however this weekend we finally decided to take the plunge. Maybe it was that one had to descend a flight of sketchy stairs to enter the restaurant or the gaudy chasing lights that turned me away but we finally went for it and boy were we glad we went in.

Upon entering the restaurant we were pleasantly surprised by the sizable dining room, despite the fact that the restaurant is inside a tenement building. The waitstaff is a group of 50 something men, who are attentive in filling your water glass and taking your order.

We tried three dishes, the Grilled Pork on Thin Rice Noodle, the Stewed Beef Noodle Soup and the Grilled Chicken Noodle Soup. The Grilled Pork on Thin Rice Noodle is a dish of a bed of thin rice noodles that are pan-fried and flattened. It is then topped with a thinly sliced, marinated pork chop with a hint of lemongrass. The noodles are not crispy but just noticeably fried. It came with a side of onions, lettuce, presumably to be used as a wrapper and a light orange Vietnamese sauce. This was utterly delicious and we agreed this was our favorite dish.

The Stewed Beef Noodle Soup was our second favorite. What set this dish apart from my other favorite Vietnamese restaurants was that the soup had the color of a deep-rich brownish translucent beef broth. When broth looks that way, you know they've thrown a ton of beef bones into the stockpot. The soup, as I expected, was delicious. To make matters better, the noodles were the round, white, gummy and translucent, somehow a cross between glass noodles and rice noodles. Once again it was utterly delicious. This was one dish where we wanted to finish both the noodles AND the broth!

Finally, the Grilled Chicken Noodle Soup was another yummy treat. This time, we were dealing with presumably, a pork bone-based soup. The broth was clearer, not as rich, but still tasty. The noodles were thin rice noodles, but what made this dish great was the grilled chicken. The grilled chicken was marinated dark meat, similar in taste to the grilled pork chop I had before.

When considering the quality of the food, I would easily pay $2 to $3 more for each dish, but this is what we actually paid for the meal:

Grilled Pork on Thin Rice Noodle $7.50
Stewed Beef Noodle Soup $4.50
Grilled Chicken Noodle Soup $4.95

After having this meal, I decided that this is probably the best Vietnamese Restaurant in Chinatown, based on the quality of the food. Other places are comparable in terms of price but when you consider quality AND price, this place is truly a bargain restaurant hunters dream and worthy of the Cheap Food Blog!!

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