This might be my last live review for some time given circumstances, so I’ll keep it brief. The new Viet Citron in between HMart/Market Basket and Trader Joe’s has opened, and it’s dang good. The space is open and bright, and the food is quality–it was still just a soft open when I went on Saturday, so the menu is limited (but there’s more stuff coming). The crispy pork belly banh mi is great if a bit sloppy (and not cheap at 12$) , and the fresh rolls are excellent. The chicken pho (with free range chicken, supposedly) looks aces, but we were in takeout mode that day. They also clearly make their own pickled daikon and cucumber, and there’s a house garlic/chili thing to add on that is top notch. Last note: they have free bird chilis out you can take and add to the sandwich, and, y’now, that’s the kind of thing you like to see.
Promising, though I hope they don’t get off on the wrong foot with the unlucky timing for their opening. Location isn’t the greatest either, but it’s worth a look.
Unfortunate timing on the opening. I feel for them.
On the other side of these times when office workers are no longer working from home, I can see Viet Citron as a welcome lunch stop. Big office population near that locale—normally, including my husband.
fwiw, they just posted that they will be open 11-7 on Saturday. they have online ordering on their website (http://vietcitron.com/) with contactless curbside pickup. looks like you can order the usual banh mi/chicken pho/summer rolls, and they’ve added a couple things: frozen cha giao (20 for 38$) and crispy pork belly by the pound (16$ per). The latter two things need to be ordered a day in advance.
We finally went today for a quick lunch after a Wegman’s run, which I’m happy to report has bulk foods again. I got farro and buckwheat groats for $1.96/lb which is an unheard of price because they’re both being discontinued. I bought 12 pounds of farro and 2 lbs of groats (and may go back for more).
Pleasant space, very nice people. they have table set outside under a tent but we chose to sit inside at one of two tables. Our meals were ok (pork belly banh mi for B, banh hoi bowl with tofu for me). My meal was accompanied by fresh herbs and lettuce, thin rice noodles, and a lot of tofu, which was expertly fried. But there was something a little lacking that I can’t quite put my finger on. Same with B’s banh mi. He wanted more pickle-y acidity from his daikon and carrot. But we both declared that we’d go back and try other items. They were quite busy with takeout, which was good. I hope folks are calling in the orders rather than going through third-party vendors.
Got takeout from Viet Citron kind of early on in COVID, mainly because I felt bad for them having opened in such a time. We were similarly not thrilled, particularly with the gristly flank stake. Better options for us closer to home.
I tried the Banh Mi shortly after they opened and despite having an excellent pork belly, it’s way too expensive for me. The finely chopped pork belly kind of disappeared in the sandwich. Nice people and convenient location. I rather have a $5 Banh Mi from Hong Cuc in Lowell.
Thanks to all who posted and especially to @Ferrari328 for the gorgeous pics. I ordered for takeout: chili lemongrass pork ribs with rice, veggies and pickles with chili garlic fish sauce (veggies hidden under sauce container), crispy pork belly and Mama Tran’s Chili Garlic Paste. All delicious! The chili lemongrass pork ribs were deliciously charred and full of flavor and the crispy pork belly was the crispest I can remember eating.
I acknowledge those who wanted more acidity in the pickles; I agree. But I have just returned from a quite wonderful but deprived-of-all-but-mainstream-American-flavors-in-takeout-food 15 month COVID exile in Maine and it was a real effort not to consume the entire thing. There are 2-3 meals’ worth left.
If you order online, your order will be on the counter to the right behind the cashier, beautifully packed. Masks are required for entry TG because I am truly horrified by how few masks I have seen in indoors public places in MA these last few days.
Brought a friend for lunch when I couldn’t take my own cooking for one more minute. Contrary to the “location” grumbling, there is enough parking, it’s on a main drag, and I didn’t find it difficult at all. The place is spotless. The owner comes out to ask about your food and she engaged us in a long discussion about how the various bone broths and pho were made. I had the rice noodle bowl with everything, and while it was a little expensive, it was wonderful and in these times, well worth it. I even asked if I could come back to photograph the kitchen making bone broth and she warmly welcomed me. I like that there are specials and I LOVE that you can ask for chicken feet and giblets.
Their open kitchen allows you to see how your food is being made, and how much attention is being paid. I noticed lots and lots of pick-up orders waiting, so that seems a fine testimonial. Since many of us find ourselves in the neighborhood of Bed, Bath & Beyond or HMart or other stores, I figure a drop off for lunch at Viet Citron is a little way to spoil yourself and boost sales at this fresh-tasking, attentive place.
I no longer drive, so haven’t been to Hong Cuc in at least 7 years. In order to recommend it to a neighbor, I googled it today to be sure it was still there. The popular combo banh mi is now $11, triple what I last paid. And most likely still worth every penny!