Tu Do in Pensacola has been around forever it seems. It has changed ownership once or twice but it remains the only place I would consider sending someone to try out Vietnamese food. It's not quite my mother's cooking but it sure does comes close. I have tried a number of items on the menu and few have disappointed me.
As an appetizer, my friends and I had a small order of goi ga or a chicken salad. The chunks of chicken is mixed with some cabbage, onions, green onions, and carrots. The entire thing is then drenched in a citrusy vinaigrette and served chilled. I love to order a side of shrimp chips to go with this dish. I heap the salad onto the chip like it's a dip and eat it that way. If you like Thai food, goi ga is very similar to chicken larb.
|Ban hoi thit nuong|
Bbq pork or "thit nuong" at Tu Do is one my favorites. There's a number of dishes it's the star of. From a rice plate to noodles but one way I like to eat it is with "noodle cakes" or ban hoi. The meat is very tender and sweet. You're typically served a bunch of greens, a bowl of relish made of carrots and daikon and a sweet and salty sauce alongside the meal. You can mix it all together and eat it or take a bite of greens and relish as you go along.
Someone asked me once where they can find the best fried rice in the area. This is it; Tu Do's "Com Thay Cam."
|Com Thay Cam|
|Mi Xao Don|
The prices at Tu Do really can't be beat. There are a few items that are over $10. The serving size is substantial as well. The biggest problem I think customers have with Tu Do is the language barrier. The entire menu is in Vietnamese; however the description is in English. Customers who have been to the restaurant a few times order everything by the number on the menu instead of the dish name. The servers are not much help either. I don't think many of them can describe the dish accurately for customers who wants to know more than what's printed on the menu. The decor is also a little dated. Everything is still comfortable, it just doesn't look all that great. I also don't like the paying system. I'm always confused whether I'm suppose to go up to the counter to pay or will the server get the payment from me. There doesn't seem to be a set system for that. I typically just go up to the counter since it takes quite a long time for the server to come back to the table once he/she drops off the check.