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Mai Lee Vietnamese

May 8, 2011

For Mother’s Day Dinner, my Dad, brother, Mom and I went to Mai Lee. Mai Lee is a family owned Vietnamese restaurant that has been in St. Louis for about 15 years. It is close to my work and I hear rave reviews about it all the time. Since my family loves Asian food, we’d been thinking about trying it for a while. Tonight was the night!

The menu is just enormous. It’s 10 full pages of tons of soups and spring rolls and rice dishes and noodle dishes and I just had no idea what I doing. I have always wanted to try Pho, but there weren’t any vegetarian choices. I ended up settling on a different soup,the Bun Dau Hu Rau Cai: vermicelli noodles with steamed tofu & mixed vegetables.

The woman said some people have it as an entree, some as an appetizer, so I decided to just order it and then get something else if I needed it. Uhh…didn’t need it! The soup was huge and had at least a half a block of tofu in it. Also, it’s hard to eat rice noodles with chop sticks.

I loved all the veggies but the soup itself wasn’t all that flavorful. That plate of lettuce and sprouts on the side went with it and I guess I was supposed to put it in the soup, but I didn’t really understand how to put a whole leaf of lettuce into the soup so IĀ  didn’t.

My mom ordered one of the specials, a steamed sea bass. And a steamed sea bass she got.

My brother and dad both enjoyed their chicken curry, but said they’d had better.

At the end of the meal we each got fortune cookies. I liked mine!

Overall, Mai Lee was good authentic Vietnamese food, but I don’t think it lived up to all the hype. I’d eat there again, but probably wouldn’t go out of my way to do so. Perhaps one of the other two hundred dishes on the menu would have blown me away?

Mai Lee on Urbanspoon

Once home I fixed myself a small bowl of melon and pineapple as well as a square of decadent gooey fudge:) Time for bed!

  • Have you ever had Vietnamese food? What do you usually order?
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19 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2011 8:29 pm

    I’ve never tried Vietnamese food, I’m not sure how much I would like it! I’ll have to try it one day to see šŸ™‚

  2. May 8, 2011 8:38 pm

    Never had vietnamese food.. but that fortune… is amazing and SO true!

  3. Peanut Butter Bandit permalink
    May 8, 2011 8:42 pm

    Huge Vietnamese fan! It’s everywhere in Vancouver though… we have a huge Asian population. My favourite Vietnamese place had a lot of great, flavourful vegetarian Pho options so I usually opted for one of those. Mmmmm.

  4. Amanda permalink
    May 8, 2011 8:54 pm

    Love Vietnamese food!! Rice paper rolls are my favorite – not fried, just fresh and delicious!

  5. sophonisba permalink
    May 8, 2011 8:58 pm

    Banh mi, which are vietnamese sandwiches, are delicious, and also usually cost between $2 and $4. Works for me!

  6. May 8, 2011 10:01 pm

    I love Vietnamese soup, its my favorite šŸ™‚

  7. May 8, 2011 10:43 pm

    I LOVE Vietnamese food. Especially summer rolls, with rice paper, but I always get Pho. You’re right that they don’t have vegetarian options for Pho, since it’s meant to be cooked in a beefy, meaty broth.

  8. May 9, 2011 6:11 am

    Vietnamese is the only food I think I have yet to try! I must be missing out.

  9. May 9, 2011 7:34 am

    Thai, Chinese, Viet… I love em all!

    Cheers

  10. May 9, 2011 7:54 am

    I have never had Vietnamese food, and probably would have been quite overwhelmed by the menu too! Thai Vietnamese are definitely on my to try list šŸ™‚
    Glad you had a nice Mother’s Day!

  11. May 9, 2011 8:06 am

    I love vietnamese food!! Sooo good!

  12. May 9, 2011 8:50 am

    Like that fortune cookie–great reminder!

  13. May 9, 2011 9:06 am

    I love vietnamese food! There aren’t as many restaurants around here but usually I get some Pho.

    I really want to try a Bah Mi sandwich though. All of your food looks delicious, so great you could all get together for Mothers’ Day. šŸ™‚

  14. May 9, 2011 9:09 am

    Haha that’s exactly how the fish is in Vietnam… they served it to us wit the eye and everything!

    I’m not much of a Pho fan at all! They eat it for breakfast, too so I ended up sticking with eggs and fruit in the morning most of the trip.

  15. May 9, 2011 10:21 am

    I’ve only ever eaten Viatnamese once, and it was at a tiny restaurant in Philadelphia. I got an amazing soup, full of veggies and pork. YUM. I’d love to go back, or find a restaurant closer to home! šŸ™‚

  16. Abby permalink
    May 9, 2011 10:56 am

    I’ve never had Vietnamese food before! I would love to try it though. Big menus like that are so overwhelming lol! That fortune is a good one–and so true. That is definitely something I have come to appreciate more as I have gotten older!

  17. May 9, 2011 11:33 am

    as far as I know, there is only one place to get veggie pho in town, at that bobo place around the corner from kayak’s by wash u. the veg clear broth aisan soups are almost always disappointing. i never thought mai lee was very good, because there is nowhere that will ever be as amazing as pho grand in my eyes. lemongrass restaurant is yummy if you know what to order. and further down grand is banh mi soh (#1 sandwich) where the cutest couple in the world make everything from scratch after you order it. takes forever, but it’s worth it. i’m making a separate blog for these recommendations.

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