The Lunch Lady (Nguyen Thi Thanh)
23 Hoang Sa, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The Lunch Lady (Nguyen Thi Thanh) Ho Chi Minh City Reviews
Best value of a lunch you'll ever get Jan 10, 2010
I am a HUGE fan of Anthony Bourdain and No Reservations so when he said that if you ever go to Saigon, you HAD to visit the lunch lady, I took his word for it.
When I hopped in the taxi, I gave him a piece of paper that listed Nguyen Thi Thanh and he knew right where it was. He had a big smile on his face so I assumed he knew we were in for some good eats.
At first, I was surprised as the eatting area was not as clean as I expected. I have eaten at many street vendors before, but this was a little worse than the average in Vietnam, but if Anthony Bourdain spoke highly of this place, I had to try it.
There were a few other tables of foreigners besides me and they must have heard the same stories as I had either from No Reservations or other food blogs. I was pretty excited and glad there wasn't too big a crowd there.
We sat down and immediately they gave us some fresh/spring rolls which were fairly common tasting. It wasn't anything outstanding.
Within another 2 minutes, 2 bowls of warm noodle soup came out. The broth was a deep red color and I took a sip and knew what all the fuss was about for this place. They only serve one dish and it changes everyday so there was no need to take an order.
The broth tasted a bit more like something you would find in Thai or Chinese food, but either way, it was delicious and the noodles were done to perfection. Though the portions are small compared to what you find in the US, it was rather filling for the amount that we got and more than the average place gives you in Saigon.
In the end, this is by far the best value for lunch I have ever had. It was only 20,000 dong (about $1.15) per bowl and it came with the spring roll as well. If you're in Saigon, be sure to try it out.
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