I was over by Oliver’s Market the other day when I noticed a small restaurant right on the corner of their building. It is called Saigon Café. I didn’t remember that being there during my previous explorations in the Cotati area. I was right. Thanks to the internet, a quick search on my phone showed the location at 548 E. Cotati Ave. used to be the Falafel House restaurant. Saigon Café took over the space a few months ago. It was close to my lunch time and as you know I like exploring new places so in I went. Here’s what I found.
First and foremost, I found a very pleasant lady behind the counter and in front of the stove. She was in perpetual motion. Cooking, cleaning, plating, serving and greeting customers with a smile and conversation. I believe her name was Huong and she appears to be the owner of the café. According to a Yelp Review I saw, she used to run a sushi restaurant in Palo Alto before coming to Cotati.
As you might have guessed by the name, the menu consists of Vietnamese appetizers, bun bowls and sandwiches. You can order within or through an open patio window. You have your choice of a few two person tables within or can sit at the patio tables on the sidewalk outside. You can also order your meal to go or have it delivered locally through Food Jets. Their menu can be found on-line.
All the inside tables were full, and a few other customers were waiting for their take-out orders. Since I had folks waiting on me to get home and it was an overcast slightly chilly day, I chose to take my order home with me also. The food was good. The prices ranged from six or seven dollars for appetizers or sandwiches to ten or twelve dollars for rice or vermicelli bowls and dishes. The service was surprisingly quick given it was a one-person show. The space was small but clean and well lit.
I’d recommend the Saigon Cafe for anyone looking for a quick lunch or take-home dinner. It’s not really a sit down, hang around restaurant conducive to folks or larger groups looking to eat and socialize while they catch up on family, work or life. That is until the weather warms up then those types of meet and eat experiences could be accommodated by the patio seating outside. They are open every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Now that I know about this place, I’m pretty sure I’ll visit it again. If you like Vietnamese fare, you should check it out too. Until next time – thanks for the tip.