Sunday, February 25, 2007

Pho Saigon

Pho Saigon is located at 924 Bronson Way South in Renton, 425-917-0305 near the intersection of S. 2nd St, and Main Avenue South. The menu tells you to "save your value money."
I always take it as a good sign when menus have incorrect grammar or spelling, thinking that more energy will be devoted to producing good food. Pho Saigon bears this out.
It's good. It's cheap. It's fast. It's friendly.
I'm not positive how to pronounce "pho." I know it's not "foe". But I've heard "fuh" as in "duh" and Foo as in "foot".
Either way, Pho Saigon has lots of pho and many other Vietnamese and Thai dishes for both meat eaters and vegetarians. Very popular there are the salad rolls (rice paper spring rolls filled with shrimp and pork). There are many Thai soups and rice and noodle dishes. I had lemon grass chicken(5.75), something I like almost everywhere, and it didn't disappoint at Pho Saigon. Diane had Mongolian Beef(5.75), which was especially flavorful and tender.
Drinks include bubble teas and a blended avocado drink.
Tofu is also plentiful on the menu.
Pho Saigon has been around for 17 years, so they must be doing something right.
There's lots to like about the place. Entrees top out at 6.75.
The latest trend in trendy restaurants is to serve tiny portions of weird but fresh food at high prices ( "tonight's special will be a pigeon entrail with a fresh tarragon beurre blanc served with roasted corn for 25.95.") Those don't tend to be my kind of places, especially if I'm paying. The food almost always tastes better if someone else is paying. I do like fancy places, but there's clearly a place for places like Pho Saigon. May they continue to do what they've been doing for the last 17 years. I'll be back there again.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Renton Supersonics

It has been announced the Sonics have chosen Renton as the site for their new arena, pending funding by the State and City of Renton.

So, is this a good thing or not?

Me, I like basketball. I have followed the Sonics for almost 30 years, and I follow the sport. I played basketball as a younger person, and was never any good, but now I'm old, fat, and slow, and still short.
I have fond memories of the Sonics '79 NBA championship. I also think an arena in Renton would be good for the city's coffers, and for bars and restaurants nearby.. I'd love to see them come here. BUT WAIT!!!
My opinion over the years has hardened over public subsidies of privately owned arenas.
There are some pressing needs in this state, and taxes can be stretched only so far.
Whether it's Paul Allen we're subsidizing or Clay Bennett (new Sonics owner), do they really need us to build them an arena? Aren't they gazillionaires?
I'd prefer not to see the Sonics leave for Oklahoma City...I might even be okay with having taxpayers fork up 25% of the total cost involved, but geesh! It's like Robin Hood in reverse: Taking money from the pockets from ordinary working stiffs and giving it to the richest folks in the country, who will then charge 60 bucks for tickets to this arena. No thanks. As far as I'm concerned, if Clay Bennett is not willing to pay for the vast majority of a new arena, he can ride his horse back to Oklahoma, and take the Sonics with him.
But I'm just not that strongly principled. If the Sonics do actually move here to Renton, I'll probably go to a few games a year.
But, y'know what?
It ain't gonna happen. It's not like the '95 Mariners, where the state legislature overrode the vote of the people because the M's were in a playoff chase, and it seemed at that point that the voters regretted their vote.
Now, the Sonics just plain suck. If they started winning, there might be more interest on the part of residents and politicians to keep the team in the Seattle area, but as I see it, it won't be the Renton Supersonics, but the Oklahoma City Soonersonics.