620 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1002440.790445 -73.973230
Neighborhoods: Upper West Side, Midtown
Very consistent and good – Saigon Grill is always very consistent and good. Do try the bung xao if you have not already.
Best value in the neighborhood – Even before it moved to its present larger location, I was addicted to Saigon Grill's dependable, tasty, inexpensive food -- especially the old reliable (for me), #78, which has an unpronounceable name with an X figuring prominently in it, and the probably-healthier vegetable basket. The place itself has lately been the victim of a power play between two rival restaurant-worker unions, and various chanting demonstrators -- none of whom, I gather, have ever actually had any connection with the restaurant -- have lately been gathering outside to make as much noise as they can. I have no use for such bullies and prefer to ignore them; it'll be a shame if they prevail and either close the place down or force it to raise its very reasonable prices.
Pretty bad Vietnamese Food – We did a quick check of the online reviews to see 4 stars for Saigon Grill, so off we went. Wow, reviewers must have very low standards! We love our local Vietnamese place in Ottawa, but this place in the big city was really bad. The food was not recognizable as Vietnamese. (I think another review referred to it as Chinese, well, let's just call it bad without slamming Chinese cuisine!) And it was thick with oil, pretty disgusting actually. That someone said they go 3 times a week to SG defies belief.
rude delivery! – I ordered delivery a few nights ago. The total of my order was $12.19 and I gave the guy a $20. He handed me back $6 (basically keeping close to $2 extra already), so I went to hand him just $2 more, which would total nearly a $4 tip. He rudely said "whaa?? 2 dollars!?? bad tip!" to which I replied "you only gave me $6 in change, it should have been close to $8," and he just stared at me. I handed him an extra dollar and shut the door. So rude and unprofessional.
Boycott Saigon Grill – This used to be my favorite restaurant, I live in the area and frequented the restaurant on weekdays and even special occasions.
But, no more.
I cannot patronize a restaurant where the workers are paid less than $2 an hour. The owners, Simon and Michelle Niget, also locked out their delivery workers for protesting the low wages. Mr. and Mrs. Niget would charge delivery workers fines for things like slamming the door or taking sick leave.
The food at Saigon Grill has lost its taste for me. I cannot enjoy their chicken satay and rice crepes with shrimp knowing that their owners are making over $2 million in profits a month, but stiffing their workers out of a living wage. I can't eat their sushi, knowing that Mr. and Mrs. Niget are taking advantage of the fact that their workers are mostly undocumented Chinese and Latino immigrants who are afraid of protesting this unfair treatment.
Join me in boycotting Saigon Grill. Call the Nigets and tell them that you refuse to eat at their restaurant until they settle with the delivery workers.
Slave labor – A big article in the Metro Section of the NY Times said that this place fired their delivery staff when they complained that they were being paid $1.60 hour. This is less than half the minimum for tipped employes & is completely illegal. I went to see and there is a very loud picket line outside either this Saigon Grill location or the one at Union Square twice a day, every day. The workers don't speak much English, so you can't really talk to them in detail, but the whole story is true & disgusting. Who cares what the food is like, I would never, ever support a business like this one by eating there.
i agree with you jfong.
came across this blog abt the delivery boycott: boycottsaigongrill.blogspot
If you want to enjoy your meal, don't eat here. – I used to order from Saigon Grill all the time, but never again will I go back to eat there. Recently I passed by and saw a picket line in front of the restaurant. I never cross a picket line. But, even if the workers picketing this restaurant go back to work, I will never come back again. This owner is outrageous! He recently fired 36 of his employees for asking for higher wages, when they were being paid $1.60/hr. It's disgusting that this kind of thing is happening in New York City. The food is not bad, but it's the service that makes all the difference. I don't care how good the food is, I can't support this.
Greatest Vietnamese Food Ever!!! I've been there a zillion times!!!! – Saigon Grill is found in many New York travel books, so that's how most people find out about it. I went there the first time on a date with a guy from Korea, but it was to the one on the upper-east side (much smaller, but speedy!). This location is so large, you get lost in it the first time. I guess it has a much higher attendance cause I've waited here longer than at the other location, but tis worth it, I tell you. You can't go wrong. Everything is delicious!!! The vegetables are fresh, and the sauces are a perfect combination of spicy and sweet (if you like Thai food, try this). Try the Canh Chua (soup) first (the large one is like a swimming pool, so only go for it if you're hungry!), go for an appetizer to split (the beef sate is good), and share a main dish. Trust me, it's enough food. Overall, I'd recommend the chicken or veggie dishes over the beef ones, and I don't have much experience with the fish dishes. The best part about this place is when the check comes... you stare at it and say "That's it?" You will find yourself coming back, oh yes, and I will see you there.
Great Vietnamese, Good Delivery Joint – I used to work on Columbus Ave and ordered from here almost weekly. They're quick and it's an affordable and tasty meal. Pretty authentic Vietnamese food. Can't say anything about the restaurant as I've never actually been inside!
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