Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lunch #87: Thanh Vi

Thanh Vi Hey, you got your June in my February! It was almost sixty degrees today as we strolled up the hill to Little Saigon. Our destination today is another Vietnamese restaurant in the same strip-mall as Tamarind Tree and Saigon House. Thanh Vi has a more favorable location than the previous two, being on the street side of the strip-mall. The dumpsters are hardly visible. Rob recently got his training wheels off so he biked over to meet us to show off his new skills and join in on the MSG150 fun.

Thanh Vi, Seattle
Address: 1046 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA, 98104
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Average rating: 3.6 chopsticks
Lunch date: 2/2/2010 @ 11:45:00
Time taken to be seated: 0 minutes
Time to take order: 1 minutes
Time for food to arrive: 8 minutes
Total lengh of meal: 40 minutes
Chopstix quality: Nice Plastic
Do they use MSG?: Some dishes have a little bit.
Where is the owner/chef from?: Saigon
Number of tables: 18
Number of occupied tables: 7 (38%)
Number of business lunch tables: 4 (57%)
Number of "local" tables: 3 (42%)
Healthcode Score: 15
Links: Yelp!, Urbanspoon
Thanh Vi

Luncher: Adam

Canh chua chay - Hot & Sour Tofu SoupLunch: Canh chua chay - Hot & Sour Tofu Soup - $7.25
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Adam's Review

We headed into Thanh Vi with 5 veteran lunchers today. The menu was pretty varied, but with these wily vets we were able to get a good sampling of the menu. I'd never had Vietnamese Hot & Sour soup, so that's what I went with.

Right from the first sip, I really liked the broth. Have you ever had a Thai hot and sour soup (tom yum)? Similar broth, but without the influence of a lot of the other flavors. Very clean flavor. I liked it.

The next thing I noticed about the soup was the unidentifiable vegetable that was in it. One of the employees (owner?) brought over a picture of the plant, but couldn't tell us the name. It was good: a light flavor with a slight crisp. The other components of the soup were good, but unremarkable.

The atmosphere of the restaurant was nice. Maybe it was just because the sun was shining, and this place had windows facing the right direction... but the lighting was really nice. I felt like I could really see my food.

Good soup. Good atmosphere. Nothing remarkable though. A solid pick.

Luncher: Geary

Banh Xeo - Vietnamese Crepe with Pork and ShrimpLunch: Banh Xeo - Vietnamese Crepe with Pork and Shrimp - $6.95
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Geary's Review

Thanh Vi is large and clean and like Vietnam House it is cheerfully decorated with plastic flowers, nice table cloths, painted walls with decorative accents, and paintings. Oddly the painting over our table appeared to be of Lake Como. Unlike Vietnam House Thanh Vi was mostly empty when we arrived. We grabbed a well-lit table in the corner and studied the menu. It too is large and full of typical Vietnamese favorites. Again I went with the Banh Xeo and again it was delicious. They were a little skimpy on the greens, but the crepe was great. Some of the pork slices were mixed in with the batter such that they got grilled and crunchy a bit on one side. Yum!

Luncher: Emmett

Bun Mum nuoc leo ca sac - Fish Stewed Noodle SoupLunch: Bun Mum nuoc leo ca sac - Fish Stewed Noodle Soup - $7.50
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Emmett's Review

I was pleasantly surprised by this place. Is that... Lake Como on the wall? Who cares. This food is great. I went with the special - Fish Stew. Thick, delicious broth, heavy flavor, lots of variety. There's some fatty fish in here, whole okra!, some french fried thingies, chinese eggplant, and some noodles. It's a hearty, tasty dish that I'll definitely come back for.

Everything else on the table looked good, too. Next time you're in this area, give this place a shot.

Luncher: Rob

Bun dau hu xao xa ot - Vermicelli with Lemongrass Tofu (Spicy)Lunch: Bun dau hu xao xa ot - Vermicelli with Lemongrass Tofu (Spicy) - $6.25
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Rob's Review

This shouldn't be a hard review to write, but I've been putting it off. The veggie bun was good stuff: tasty chunks of tofu, tasty chunks of veggies, ground peanuts, homemade fish sauce, and the small side salad tucked in. As I was munching my way through the meal, I quickly decided to give Thanh Vi a 4. But then I finished, and I was still a bit hungry (probably because I hadn't had breakfast...). And then I remembered I had basically this same dish at Green Leaf. I'd given them a 4, and their version I liked a little more than Thanh Vi's. Should it follow that Thanh Vi gets a 3? Further, you get a veggie sauce at Green Leaf, but then again the homemade fish sauce at Thanh Vi is really, really nice. The Green Leaf salad had refreshing bits of mint in it, and Thanh Vi's had not-as-refreshing bits of basil. But you usually have to wait before getting a table at Green Leaf, whereas Thanh Vi was wide open and even a touch cheaper. How should I let all that affect the rating? Weeks slipped by as I agonized over this decision, until everyone received a three word email from Emmett, "Waiting on rob." So yeah, should those other things matter? Still don't know, but I'll stop worrying about it and stick with my original rating: 4! Ahh, that feels better.

Luncher: Jared

Bun tom thit nuong - Vermicelli with Charbroiled Shrimp and PorkLunch: Bun tom thit nuong - Vermicelli with Charbroiled Shrimp and Pork - $6.50
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Thanh Vi Photos

Thanh Vi
Thanh Vi

Thanh Vi
Thanh Vi

Wall Menu
Wall Menu

Interior
Interior

Thanh Vi Menu
Thanh Vi Menu

Thanh Vi Menu
Thanh Vi Menu

Lake Como?
Lake Como?

Banh Xeo - Vietnamese Crepe with Pork and Shrimp
Banh Xeo - Vietnamese Crepe with Pork and Shrimp

Bun tom thit nuong - Vermicelli with Charbroiled Shrimp and Pork
Bun tom thit nuong - Vermicelli with Charbroiled Shrimp and Pork

Bun Mum nuoc leo ca sac - Fish Stewed Noodle Soup
Bun Mum nuoc leo ca sac - Fish Stewed Noodle Soup

Bun dau hu xao xa ot - Vermicelli with Lemongrass Tofu (Spicy)
Bun dau hu xao xa ot - Vermicelli with Lemongrass Tofu (Spicy)

Canh chua chay - Hot & Sour Tofu Soup
Canh chua chay - Hot & Sour Tofu Soup

Soup Greens
Soup Greens

Eating Banh Xeo
Eating Banh Xeo

Eating Banh Xeo II
Eating Banh Xeo II

4 comments:

Danny said...

Isn't it time for you folks to go out to luch again? I need my fix? It also sounds like you guys cook--how about a companion recipe blog? Just wanted to let you know I enjoy your work a lot! Danny

Anonymous said...

This is such a fabulous project. The reviews for different restaurants (especially Dim Sum) just seem so scattered. Good work guys! You don't happen to be recruiting, do you? boat@rafthome.com

Anonymous said...

Thanh Vi may *seem* clean, but the last time I ate there (admittedly over a year ago) a rat scurried across the restaurant floor and into the back. A shame, because I rather liked this place.

Anonymous said...

The unidentified veg is probably taro stem, sometimes called vietnamese rhubarb.