Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bistro Southeast Review

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.

Bistro Southeast

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.

Apologies in advance for the cell phone pics! 

Korean BBQ Ribeye Buns [$8.95]
Steamed mantou bun

Bistro Southeast - Korean BBQ Ribeye Buns

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.

Soft Shell Crab Bun [$9.95]
Steamed mantou bun
Bistro Southeast - Soft Shell Crab Bun

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!

Po' Boy Fish Sandwich [$8.95]
Toasted french baguette, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro 

Bistro Southeast - Po' Boy Fish Sandwich

The fried fish po' boy featured crisply fried and moist fish. This was housed within a wonderfully toasted and fresh french baguette. The crunch of the pickled carrots and cucumbers added a nice bahn mi element to each bite, along with the herbaceouness of the cilantro.

Lemongrass Pork Belly Sandwich [$7.95] [$6.95]
Toasted french baguette, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro
Bistro Southeast - Lemongrass Pork Belly Sandwich

But I was here for the lemongrass pork belly sandwich. While not as pretty as Midtown Lunch Philly's iteration in terms of grill marks, the flavors of the lemongrass and the unctuousness of the pork belly were definitely there. Better yet - it was on special so who can complain about saving a buck?Again, the balance between the cucumbers, carrots, and cilantro made each bite, along with the wonderful bread.

So if you're in the Graduate Hospital area, I would definitely pop on in for a proper workday lunch. With most of the lunchtime offerings below $10, you'd be robbing yourself of a delicious and affordable Southeast "Casian" experience if you didn't. A separate dinner menu is available as well so I'll definitely have to stop by again to check that out. Pro-tip: It's BYO!

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