First Look: Saigon Le Vendeur Goes Brick and Mortar

The new restaurant is just down the way from the former truck’s location

photo by Haris Qureshi

“This is my dream!” says Tebi Nguyen. The head chef and owner of Saigon Le Vendeur, who hails from District 5 of Vietnam’s largest city, just opened up his new brick and mortar location at 2601 E. Seventh in the Holly neighborhood, minutes away from his previous trailer’s location on the Eastside.

The restaurant represents a sort of homecoming for Nguyen, whose food truck was a mainstay in Central East Austin for a decade. “I love the Eastside! Every time we’re done with the trailer, we go out to a bar. It’s our neighborhood, you know?”

Although this is not his first brick and mortar (he opened Vietnamese restaurant Le Bleu on Burnet and 183 five years ago), he missed the sense of community he found on East Seventh. “To be honest, I don’t have a regret about [Le Bleu] because it’s the first restaurant me and my wife have, but it made me miss Downtown a lot more. It’s like going to the same school and then your family moves to a different town.”

Nguyen anticipates serving the same Vietnamese comfort food on the Eastside that the trailer has served in the past, plus new weekly specials that test the traditional definition of Vietnamese food. The spread at the soft open included grilled octopus skewers, crispy fried egg rolls, flash-fried Brussels sprouts, mango salad, lamb bánh mì, and ube tiramisu for dessert. It was all superb. Nguyen’s new brick and mortar promises the same high quality Austin diners have come to expect, in a sleek, beautiful new setting.

Saigon Le Vendeur is open daily from 11am to 9pm.

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Saigon Le Vendeur, Tebi Nguyen, Le Bleu

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