Monday, September 12, 2011

Summer Roll City

I made a list of places in Cincinnati I want to visit again before we leave. We’re working our way through. Some of them – like Bangkok Bistro – I think I’ll be okay not coming back to. I can’t quite say why. Others – like Suzie Wong's – might be on our “last week in the Nati” list. We went again last week, and it just can’t be the last time, can it?

Saturday for lunch, we headed over to Saigon Café. This place just opened a few months ago, and we’ve already been about four times, and it looks like we might be back at least once more.

It’s funny, though, because every time has been different. On each of our previous visits, we’ve gotten two different entrees and shared both. This time, we both went for the bun. The first time it came with no roll, the second and third time it came with a crispy spring roll. 

Expecting our meals to come with fried rolls, we each ordered a summer roll as a starter. On the menu, they were listed as one roll for $2.50. So we ordered two. Turns out, there was some confusion somewhere – and we got two each.


Our bun vegetable came with a cold summer roll. This was a  surprise, even to our server, but not really a disappointment (even though I prefer the crispy roll). Thankfully there were plenty of crispy tofu strips.


And so marks the day of the summer roll. If you were counting, that was six rolls in total.

If you’re not familiar, this dish is made with cold rice noodles, fresh vegetables (lettuce, carrots, and bean sprouts here – sometimes you’ll get lots more veg, like cucumbers and daikon), shredded tofu, and peanuts. Toss this all together with sauce* and it’s a delicious, hearty lunch that isn’t too heavy. This will leave you fueled and ready for a nice walk on the first beautiful day in a week. 

One thing I’ll miss about my current neighborhood is how walkable it is. I’m checking out for my new address (63), but I think it’s a little misleading because of all the traffic we’ll face in the big city. Turns out Saigon Café didn’t make it on our current walkscore (72) because it’s more than a mile away. I mapped it on the walk back, still walkable.

How’s your neighborhood for getting around?


*Check to see if the dressing has fish sauce. I didn’t want to pollute the spring roll focus with fish sauce scares, but I know someone will think I don’t care if I don’t mention it.


  1. My address got a 8/100! Yikes! Obviously, we can't walk anywhere. I think the gas station is a smile away if really need some excitement.

    I have a pack of rice wrappers I've been needing to use...

  2. a "mile" away if "we" really need some excitement, is what I meant to write.

  3. I love RunKeeper! I use that for my runs around the neighborhood. I live next to the V&E Greenline, so it's pretty good for gettin' around. I love those cold spring rolls the best, so that sounds like my kinda meal!

  4. Thanks for the walkscore link! I love keeping track of things like that, but it almost seems that less walkable is preferable to me since I'd appreciate the exercise. The things on my map that are nearby aren't exactly desirable, haha.
    I'm not sure because I rarely eat either, but I think the summer rolls are better than the crispy ones.

  5. Everything's coming up summer rolls. You two must have had that special look about you like you just hadn't had enough summer rolls lately. The bun sounds awesome. And I have got to try shredding some tofu.

    Have fun eating your way out of Cincinnati and bon apetit!

  6. There will be tons of Summer Rolls in the City of Brotherly Love. Pretend you're Ms. PacMan and chomp your way East.

  7. Those summer rolls look so good!
    The only thing in walking distance for me is a gas station and a dollar store. We live out in the country. I would love to live in a city where I could walk to places.