Houston >Saigon Pagolac Restaurant
“The baked fish is great, but it takes a while to come out.”
“Saigon Pagolac also offers a specialty grilled whole fish, and if you don't like some of the course in the pre-set menu, you can always order a full portion of the courses that you like.”
“good food, crappy service”
Vietnamese Beef Prepared 7 different ways.
One of my dad's favorite things is "Bo 7 Mon", which literally translated means "Beef 7 Dishes" or 7 courses of beef. Like the french fondue or brazilian churrasco, "Bo 7 Mon" is a Vietnamese specialty that is hard to find, and Saigon Pagolac is one of the only places in the city to offer this specialty.
Traditionally, the dishes are:
1) Beef meatball ("cha dum") with shrimp crackers
2) Beef dipped in vinegar ("bo nhung dam")
3) Beef wrapped in grape leaf ("bo la lot"
4) Beef bbq wrapped with fat ("bo nuong mo chai")
5) Beef marinated in lemongrass, bbq'd at table ("bo nuong vi")
6) Beef steak with salad ("bo bi tet")
7) Chao bo ("Beef with rice soup")
Because of the many dishes, it is usually served as a course for 2 people, but many Vietnamese families will come and get a large round table and order for everyone to share. Because of the dishes that are prepared at the table (# 5 above is served raw, with a griddle where you cook the beef), the aromas of the food are strong. When you enter the restaurant, you can smell the food, and the when you leave you often smell like the food you ate. Saigon Pagolac also offers a specialty grilled whole fish, and if you don't like some of the course in the pre-set menu, you can always order a full portion of the courses that you like. The most popular being the "bo nuong vi" and the "bo la lot." Most of the dishes are served with dry rice paper so you can put the beef dishes inside and roll them up. The dipping sauce is a specialty shrimp paste and pineapple (strong flavor) that is not for everyone. For those of you who are a bit trepidatious, ask for the fish sauce, which is much less pungent and aromatic.
good food, crappy service.
I love the food here. The grilled meats are great, especially if you order the banh hoi noodles to wrap with. The baked fish is great, but it takes a while to come out. Which is why most people will call and place an order for it before they arrive at the restaurant. However, the person who answers the phone and takes the order will hang up on you, thus not take your order properly.
I vow to never eat here again after the way the wait staff treated my family and I. The waiter said it was not the restaurant's fault for hanging up on us and offered no sort of apology... instead blamed us for not placing an order!! HELLO... you hung up. Even after we stayed polite and just ordered what we wanted, the waiters still found ways to be rude and treat us like we knew nothing about cooking our food.
If you want food similar to this (grilling meats and rolling them into your own spring rolls), Jasmine is located just down the street and are owned by the same people as Saigon Pagaloc, but is cleaner and nicer.
Even better, Thien Phu located further down bellaire across from Hong Kong City Mall are friendlier, more accomodating, and the fish is great!!
Also, but aware that the floors at Saigon Pagaloc are very very slippery, probably due to all the grease popping from the grill pans and onto the ground.
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