Veggie Girl: Saigon Bowl

It was early Sunday evening when my husband and I arrived at Saigon Bowl, 333 South Federal Boulevard, and I was surprised to see the place already packed. Some large parties were gathering, and a few massive dinner parties were under way. Unsure if we'd even get a spot, we joined the line -- and five minutes later, we had a table.

They sure know how to turn tables quickly at Saigon Bowl -- but then, with prices so low and food so fresh, they need to be able to accommodate the crowds.

We've frequented Saigon Bowl since we moved to Denver six years ago, back when we were both broke teaching assistants and it was one of the few places where we could have a nice dinner out for under $15 and still take home leftovers.

The menu is extensive, packed with what I'm sure are great meat and seafood dishes, and there's also a small vegetarian section. Everything I've ordered off of it has been delicious.

This time, we started by ordering vegetarian egg rolls. A large platter heaped with rice noodles, sprinkled with peanuts and holding six small, fried-tofu egg rolls soon appeared, alongside another platter with romaine lettuce, fresh mint and cilantro, sprouts and carrots. We made quick work of the appetizer, piling noodles, egg rolls and veggies pieces of lettuce, then dousing our lettuce rolls in Sriracha and peanut sauce (which we always request in lieu of fish sauce). At $5.95, this dish that functions as both salad and app is a bargain.

For our main dish, we ordered the tofu curry ($7.95). Large chunks of potato, onion, carrot and tofu come smothered in a somewhat greasy peanut curry sauce that's completely decadent and delicious.

Though our circumstances have changed, we still love having a few cheap, everyday dinner destinations, and Saigon Bowl will continue to be one of our favorites.

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