I fractured my foot last week, so my ability to get out and try great Phoenix-area vegan food has slowed down considerably. Instead, I’ll present you with a pain in my broken heart that matches the pain in my broken foot.
There once was a place on Mill and University in Tempe called Saigon Healthy Cuisine. While not a vegetarian/vegan restaurant, it offered the finest casual Southeast Asian (Vietnamese, in particular) food in town with plenty of vegan options. I remember in particular going there at times when I wasn’t feeling very well – most likely from Phoenix’s dreadful allergy season – and they would give me a bowl of hot soup and a cup of tea that would knock whatever ailed me right out.
Although the restaurant was at best “ram-shackled” (oh the many times we put sugar packets under the table legs to balance them out), the service was impeccable and the quality of the food couldn’t be matched in town. It had a charm all of its own.
We recently found a Saigon Healthy menu I had been carrying around in the back of my car all these years (click to enlarge).
It was the kind of place where I liked every vegetarian dish on the menu, so I always had a hard time deciding what to order. There were plenty of vegan appetizers to choose from – Spring Roll Vegetarian, Crisped Wafers, Spicy Garden Salad with Tofu, and Steamed Bun. For entrées, Spicy Lemongrass Vegetarian Delight usually made the top of the list, but Sautéed Tofu with Tomatoes also screamed for attention. Every entrée was loaded with vegetables. The garlic was always the most awe inspiring – thin slices of entire cloves covering your dish as if to say “I will make you healthy whether you want to be or not!” Your heat options were 1 – 10. I don’t think I ever went past 8 (and even that may have been a mistake in judgment).
Unfortunately I think the value of the land that Saigon Healthy was on was greater than the income of the restaurant, so like many other great Phoenix locations, it’s gone. Now it’s a parking lot for CVS. I’ve kept an eye out to see if the owners have opened up a new place somewhere else in town, but haven’t heard of anything so far. Please let me know if you have found a place like Saigon in town!