Get the #45 at Miss Saigon

The most popular vietnamese restaurant in Tucson also happens to be the best. Doncha love it when that happens? Miss Saigon is a small place at the edge of the UofA campus in a tiny “strip mall” that includes a Bruegger’s Bagels and Santa Barbara Ice Cream. Ice cream, bagels, bubble tea and free wifi  might well be the AZ student’s dream list for a perfect destination and thus Miss Saigon is perpetually crowded with tan kids in flip flops and shorts.

The bubble tea is a big draw

Miss Saigon, Tucson AZ

I know that not everyone enjoys giant black tapioca balls in their coconut jasmine milk tea, but I love it. I think you could get little pieces of jellied fruit instead but it doesn’t have the same visual appeal.

Even though there’s always a wait for a table, the food is worth it. I’ve never had a bad meal here and over the last year I’ve become partial to #45 Bún Thịt Nướng

Tucson, AZ

otherwise known as chargrilled pork and rice noodles with greens. I like their pho and sometimes enjoy their curry as well but I mostly wake up and crave this pork bún dish in particular. It’s just the right amount of salty, chewy, fresh goodness that I want to slather with their homemade siracha sauce and slurp up with chopsticks.

Tucson, AZ

(I admit to amusement at Miss Saigon’s website FAQ list that includes exactly three questions, one of which is “do I have to use chopsticks?” I say, yes. Definitely.)

So, check out Miss Saigon for great Vietnamese food. While you wait for a table you can eavesdrop on students talking about finals and parties and roommates and then you can wander down to Santa Barbara afterwards and get ice cream.  That’s what you call a great summer evening in Tucson.

And yes, it’s already 90 degrees so summer’s officially here. Go get a bubble tea to celebrate!

Things that are great: Sunsets and Vietnamese Food

The sun setting over the Saguaro Nat’l Monument is a classic Tucson scene:

Afterwards, I took myself to Miss Saigon for coconut curry shrimp:

 And though my sister will argue with me, I vote Vietnamese food the least photogenic of all the Asian foods (and she has pictures with which to argue). But I think the Japanese have the clean simple fish sculptures, Chinese (at their best) have crispy bright veggies and light sauces, the Koreans have all those delightful little condiment dishes and the Vietnamese have murky (though delicious) soups and monochromatic (though delicious) rice and noodle dishes. You have to get into their haute cuisine before it’s photo worthy!

But I love the bubble tea:

What could be better than slurping up big black tapioca through a giant straw?

Nothing. That’s what.