Jacksonville Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Part V

April 24, 2014 18 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

A hole in the wall "scandal" and four more restaurants to check out.

Image by Leah A.

Image by Nancy White of nourishthebeast.com

Image by Nancy White of nourishthebeast.com

Image by Leah A.

Saigon Times

My first time at Saigon Times I ordered a large, with extra beef, pho and a banh mi sandwich to go (my mouth is watering). My girlfriend and I planned an impromptu midday, midweek "picnic". Or, what do you call it when you buy your meal from one place only to end up eating it on the Bold Bean picnic table in the back of the Riverside location?

Saigon times serves their to go pho by pouring the broth in one larger container and placing the cold items (noodles, herbs and protein) in a separate container. My plan was to split the pho and the sandwich between the two of us,  which requires an extra container for the pho. We're not doing this "Lady and the Tramp" style.

That turned out to be a bit more difficult than I expected.

Requesting an extra container developed a bit of flustering dialogue.  My server had to have been new to the job. It seemed like she just left Denny's to work at Saigon Times as the menu items were maybe a bit foreign to her...but there was one thing that the owners apparently taught her very well.

"Can I have an extra container for the pho, please?"

"No, I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to give them out."

"I can't have an extra container..."


"Wha? Whyyy......?"

"They cost money and we can't just give them out."

"Can I buy one for a quarter, I guess?"

"I'm sorry, no."

"Really...? I can't buy one either? Well, can I talk to your manager?"

"Noooo. Sorryyyyy."

"I can't talk to your manager?"

"No...she's (mumbles) back there with...calculator...back room...doing things..."

"So, I can't have another container? and I can't talk to the manager...I'd like to talk to the manager..."

"Well, okaaayyy, I'll give you a container but I'm really not supposed to..."

"Thank you."

After that exchange, how was I going to ask for an extra pair of chop sticks? On my way to Bold Bean I stopped at the Panda Express on King Street and purchased a pair for $.25. Thank you, Panda House.

Despite that unnecessary and very off putting exchange the food was awesome. Saigon Times might be my favorite vietnamese spot despite the fundamental lack of customer service during that specific instance. The broth was light but full of flavor with plenty of nuanced undertones. The herbs, bean sprouts were colorful. Vibrant, actually.

By far, Saigon Times has the best banh mi I have had in Jacksonville. The pork was tender (and there was plenty) and the bread was soft yet crispy.

Tip: If you are ordering togo have extra utensils and tableware stored in the car or plan on stopping at another restaurant for anything you may need.  

622 Cassat Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32205
Phone number (904) 378-2348

Yelp Profile
Urban Spoon Profile

 PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT