Friday, November 16, 2012

East-West Connection: Stellar Vietnamese Cuisine!

Sometimes, okay often, I pick restaurants on a whim. Even if the lunch appointment is not for a few days, I will choose whatever I happen to be craving at that particular moment. What if I am no longer craving that style of food when I arrive? This has happened but thankfully not with this place.

When I arranged lunch with my friend John, I happened to be craving Asian Cuisine. In addition to that, people that know of my passion for food, rarely want to pick the restaurant. Earlier this year I went camping with my brother-in-law. We drove into Escalante, Utah for dinner. There are 3 restaurants in town. Knowing that he has been there more often than I had, I said "whatever you want for dinner is fine." He replied, "oh no, I'm not picking the restaurant in case it's not good." Should I tone it down?

East-West Connection is a Vietnamese Restaurant in Salt Lake's Foothill Village. The last time I was here was in 2005. I couldn't remember anything about it other than the location. Maybe Vietnamese food is my latest addiction having recently eaten at Oh Mai and La Cai Noodle House.

The place is very clean and everyone is extremely proper. Makes you think you already know the prices and it makes you nervous. Opening the menu I saw that the prices weren't too bad. A little higher than most places of similar cuisine but not by much.

Five Spices Roasted Chicken

Since it was after 1:30pm and I only had a small breakfast that day, I needed an appetizer. I asked the waitress the difference between the Spring and Summer Rolls. She said that the spring rolls are deep fried and the summer rolls are not fried but are wrapped in a rice paper. For a moment I felt like someone who has recently recommitted to getting in shape but finds himself in a fast food drive-thru on the way home from the gym. A fast food drive-thru that really wasn't on the way home. Listening to my conscience, I went with the summer rolls. They were similar to the rolls at Siam Orchid-filling and with a lot of flavor. One great component was the bean dip. It looks like a caramel and has a very unique texture and taste. Definitely worth the $5.00.

Saigon Style Barbeque Pork

John got the Five Spices Roasted Chicken and I ordered the Saigon Style Barbeque Pork. Aren't the names of those two dishes wonderful? The pork is marinated in a special seasoning then grilled to perfection. They  also must add some honey or syrup because there is a perfectly sweet, semi-crunchy glaze to it. It's like an orchestra in your mouth with all participants putting on their best show.

The Five Spices Roasted Chicken definitely had a stronger taste to it. They are serious about the spices here. If you are looking for a fresh, earthy, spicy dish, this is for you. If you want a hint of sweetness, go with the Saigon Style Barbeque Pork. And if you want neither, there are plenty of beef, chicken, pork and seafood and noodle dishes to choose from. Each of our choices were $12.00. You pay a little more and get a little less food but it's worth it. They know good food.

1400 Foothill Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah, 84108

Happy Eating
East-West Connection on Urbanspoon

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