We were going to spend the day in Fells Point, but my allergies were kicking my ass so much, I couldn't walk and breathe at the same time. And there's lots of walking to be done in Fells Point. So we stayed home. I scrounged around the medicine cabinet and found a decade-old Sudafed, which I popped while cursing the fact that the stuff is hard to get a hold of these days. Fkn meth addicts. Eventually I was able to breathe well enough to walk from the parking lot to a restaurant, so we discussed where we should go for dinner. Not to Fells Point, since Towson and environs were so much closer. Granted, there's not as much choice for good grub in the 'burbs, but we do ok.
One restaurant we hadn't been to in ages had moved to a new location a couple years back, so it seemed like a good idea to revisit the place. Saigon Remembered, once across the street from the Senator Theater, is now in a shopping center on Cranbrook Road in Cockeysville. The new digs are smaller and prettier, simple and elegant with light colors and white tablecloths. The menu seemed less voluminous than in the past. I once found it a bit intimidating, but now it was easy to navigate.
I knew right away that I wanted their grape leaves appetizer. Absolutely nothing like the familiar Mediterranean preparation stuffed with rice and sauced with lemon, the Vietnamese version is stuffed with tender marinated beef before being skewered and grilled. While not as charred as the ones I've eaten at Saigon Remembered in the past, these were still delicious, especially when dipped in the little ramekin of nuoc cham. Nuoc cham is the ubiquitous dipping sauce of Vietnam, made with fish sauce, garlic, sugar, and rice vinegar and/or lime juice. It's savory, sweet, and tangy all at the same time and perfect with pretty much everything on the table.
Posted on Minxeats.com.