Sandra Serves Up Appetizing Vietnamese Cuisine

Sandra Serves Up Appetizing Vietnamese Cuisine

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Anyone searching for a flavorful twist on oriental cuisine should look no further than Sandra Rice and Noodles. Located amongst one of Pendleton Pike’s strip malls, the fairly new restaurant is classified as “mostly Vietnamese” with Chinese and Thai influence as well.

Atmosphere

Decorative pottery, china dolls and fancy flower arrangements give the room its authentic Asian feel. The soft, instrumental music in the background provides a sense of relaxation and the attractive plates and serving dishes make everything seem more elegant. The various square tables offer many seats for sit-in dining, while the window and counter make the carry-out business very accessible.

Service

The restaurant is owned and operated by a Vietnamese family and is therefore very family-oriented. My guests and I were immediately acknowledged upon entrance and with a friendly smile and greeting. Our waitress could not have been more helpful and informative. Because we were new to trying Vietnamese cuisine, she was able to explain all of the sauces and preparation techniques while still remaining patient.

Food

Vietnamese lettuce wraps consisting of spiced chicken, peppers and water chestnuts are a great way to start off meal. If not, other pleasing appetizers include egg rolls, rice paper rolls and fried calamari. The Vietnamese take on food is somewhat different than what would be found at a Chinese restaurant. For example, both ethnicities would serve Kung Pao Chicken, however the Vietnamese version would have a much thinner sauce. This is because most Vietnamese sauces do not contain any thickening agents, making them lighter and more healthy overall. Also, on the lighter side, Sandra serves a variety of interesting soups such as asparagus and crab meat soup, coconut chicken soup and lemongrass soup. I tried the traditional Vietnamese soup entitled “Chicken Pho” consisting of rice noodles, bean sprouts, onion and cilantro. It is also served with chili sauce and hoisin sauce for added flavor. For a main meal, Sandra Rice and Noodles provides many options such as Tofu, fried rice, black pepper chicken and pork, curry chicken, lemongrass chicken and ginger soy swordfish. Iced Vietnamese coffee is ideal for all caffeine drinkers. Coffee is made with condensed milk and has a flavor similar to cappuccino. If still not satisfied after all of the Sandra’s desserts offer a delectable ending to any meal. We were served the sweet rice pudding, but banana rolls are also an option.

The Check

The cost at Sandra Rice & Noodles depends greatly on what is ordered. Appetizers can range anywhere from $4 to $8 and soups remain relatively inexpensive at $4. Several lunch specials are available between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at a price of $5.25. At dinnertime, main courses can cost anywhere from $7 to $14,depending on the food. Chicken and pork dishes are less expensive than higher-end fish dishes, which can cost up to $14. Even on a tight budget, Sandra will have something for everyone.

Wrapping Up

Providing everything from traditional Vietnamese cuisine to an authentic Asian atmosphere, Sandra Rice and Noodles is the place to go. Whether as laid-back meal or a quick carryout order is desired, Sandra is sure to satisfy. The flavorful sauces, unique spices and irregular cooking methods serve as a great way to get the average Hoosier out of the normality of American food and eating habits.

 

Source: Lawrence High School North Start, November 7, 2008
Reporter: Lauren Cooper


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