Saigon (2640 Lakeland Dr, Flowood) is much too easy to miss — it’s in a former Wendy’s building and the sign is hard to see when you’re driving from Jackson.
When I last went to Saigon with a coworker, we asked the waitress for an appetizer recommendation and then completely ignored her suggestion of the spring roll or egg roll. (I like the spring roll at Saigon, but I rarely get too excited about spring or egg rolls.) Instead, we got the “Beef salad topped with chili lemon sauce.”
Be warned that this is a very, very raw dish — that’s not mentioned on the menu. The beef comes with a sweet, acidic sauce that included soy sauce and citrus (the menu said lemon but I thought there was some lime). The salad also had chiles, fennel and cilantro, and was an incredibly flavorful, bright dish. It was far too much food for an appetizer, even for two people, but I liked it so much that I probably ate more raw beef in one sitting than I ever have before.
The phô at Saigon is one of my favorite restaurant meals in Jackson, and some of the better phô I’ve had anywhere, all because of the broth. I think it has a bit more star anise than most versions I have had, which might be why I love it so much. Pictured here is the Phô Tái Nam, with thin slices of eye round steak (cooked in the broth) and brisket (well done)—I prefer the eye of round for being rarer. The phô comes in small ($6) and large ($7). I’ve never seen a large, but I can’t think of any reason to get it unless I knew it would have to feed me for four days. The small is more than enough for two large meals.
Saigon is open Mon - Thurs, 10am-9pm; Fri - Sat, 10am-10pm; and Sun 11am-6pm. The number is (601) 420-4848.