Belly of the Pig

Bistro Southeast Review: Pt. 1

After viewing Midtown Lunch’s vision of a pork belly sandwich, I knew I had to stop by Bistro Southeast’s newly opened shop in the Graduate Hospital area, south of Rittenhouse. Their mission is to showcase the melange of Southeast Asian and Cajun “Casian” flavors, while highlighting quality seafood as well.

Full transparency for their seafood MP is appreciated, with offerings ranging from Alaskan snow crab and king crab to crawfish. There’s plenty of seating for the lunchtime crowd, with a clean and casual design.

A hefty portion of tender ribeye was marinated with the prototypical Korean flavors of fruit and soy. Balanced by pickled carrots, the freshness of the lettuce and the the texture of sesame seeds against the sweet pillowy Chinese buns made for a nice bite.
The soft shell crab buns were stellar, with a whole crab halved between the two buns. The fry rendered the crab perfectly crispy and not at all greasy, with the meatiness of the sweet crustacean coming through. Great textural bite with this one, with the crisp and lightly pickled cucumbers really providing a countervailing element to the crab!

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Belly of the Pig

Bistro Southeast Review: Pt. 2

In the Graduate Hospital area, I highly recommend Bistro Southeast for their Asian-inspired sandwiches at more-than affordable prices. You definitely get the sense that it’s a family-owned business, with long ties to the Philadelphia food scene. In fact, owner Troy Eap’s sister owns highly regarded Artisan Boulanger in South Philly. So when Troy (pictured on the bottom right) invited me down to check out the distinct dinner menu, there was no hesitation on my part!
Simply designed, there are plenty of tables at Bistro Southeast for diners to enjoy their amalgamation of Southeast Asian and Cajun flavors – Casian, if you will!

If you’re stopping by for dinner, you obviously have to try one of their boils. Potatoes, corn, sausage, shrimp and/or clams are steamed together with butter, garlic, and Casian spices to maintain moistness and optimal seasoning. The potatoes still had bite and the sausage had wonderful snap to it. The clams were perfect little morsels of butter and brine, but the star of the boil was the head-on shrimp. The juicy bits of head fat were inundated with that buttery Casian flavor. A squirt of lime to provide some acid and countervailing balance? Heaven. Not exactly date food because you’ll require multiple napkins and wetnaps, but what better way to test whether you’re with the right person?
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Midtown Lunch

Blackened Pork Belly Banh Mi from Bistro SouthEast on South Street West

Bistro South East opened quietly last month by a husband and wife team, serving Vietnamese influenced sandwiches for lunch every day and a seafood focused menu at night.  The name doesn’t do it any favors.  Unless you knew they served Vietnamese food, you might be confused why a restaurant on South Street West would pick that name. But now, we get it. Staff is super friendly and I liked the drawn guides to eating seafood on the wall (dinner menu includes crawfish by the pound).

I think Bistro SouthEast adds to this part of the city, where exciting sandwiches are lacking. I hope the hospital staff provides enough business to allow this place to maintain daily lunch service.  I plan on coming back for the thai curry meatballs and their different wing varieties.


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14 buns worth checking out in Philly

Say “bun” and you’ll find a world of tasty options and variations.

Qualifying under the category are sweet rolls, doughy snacks, soup dumplings, even noodle dishes.


Our bun choices include a bakery in Reading Terminal Market, an Italian restaurant in the gayborhood, a Japanese restaurant near Logan Square, three Vietnamese restaurants all around town, a bread bakery in Manayunk, and assorted tiny takeout shops in Chinatown.


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Uwishunu Philadelphia

Top Spots For Banh Mi In Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s beloved hoagies take on a different form with the banh mi, a packed-with-flavor Vietnamese sandwich that is loaded with fresh vegetables, an infused aioli sauce and a choice of protein — most commonly a sliced meat or tofu — on top of a freshly made baguette.

The banh mi sandwich was introduced during French rule in Vietnam, so the resulting sandwich is a fusion of common items in both French and Vietnamese cooking.

In Philly, brilliant banh mi sandwiches are served up a plenty thanks to the proliferation of Vietnamese restaurants (particularly in South Philadelphia and Chinatown) with chefs who are trained in the art of Vietnamese street food. Beyond the traditional shops like QT Vietnamese Sandwich Co. and Nam Son Bakery, we’ve seen a recent upswing in modern takes on banh mi sandwiches popping up on menus all around town (hey, Double Knot and Same Same!).


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