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Bland location even pollutes the plate at Savor Fare

Photo: Photos by Steven Gilmore, License: N/A

Photos by Steven Gilmore

Spicy Mongolian vegetable and tofu

Photo: , License: N/A

Summer rolls

Poise, grace and the instinct for polished sureness in social situations: this is savoir-faire.

It's the ability to say the right thing, give off the best impression and, most importantly, make others feel comfortable in one's presence. Savor Fare, a five-year-old Vietnamese-Chinese fusion restaurant on Huebner, does not have savoir-faire.

Hidden away in a garden-variety strip mall, Savor Fare has the opportunity to be a diamond in the rough, the culinary find of the century! Unfortunately, the blandness of its locality has seeped in through the walls, poisoning everything from the decor to the food, leaving Savor Favor void of any polished sureness they were aiming for.

Cheap baroque artwork and faux marble walls and ceilings, a nod to Vietnam's French colonialism, welcomed me to this eastern dive. The staff, one woman, was friendly and quick to serve. This eagerness could have had something to do with the fact that I was the only customer in sight at 8 o'clock on a Friday evening. Once seated, I was quick to order water, tea, and a Viet beer. The indistinctly flavored tea might as well have been from 7-Eleven, the beer was a no-go due to a non-renewed beer license and the water ... well, the water was great.

From the Asian staple of hot and sour soup to pork rolls to the Vietnamese specialty of Saigon Crepes, the offerings ranging from $7 to $15 a plate are broad. I opted for the ubiquitous beef pho as well as the recommended vegetarian plate of Spicy Mongolian Vegetable and Tofu. Staring at the same golden-framed watercolor for what seemed like the millionth time in half an hour, I swallowed the bland veggie pockets and tried to make a game out of peeling the overly sticky rice paper from the roof of my mouth.

Finally, the main dishes arrived. Eager to get some excitement in my life I dug right into my hot and spicy plates. The Mongolian Tofu was certainly spicy and flavorful. That, I enjoyed. Unfortunately, the accompanying veggies had been smoked to the point of tasting like a charcoal pit. Anxious to get the burned taste out of my mouth, I shoved a spoonful of pho down my gullet as fast as I could. Pho is my favorite Vietnamese dish. A simple meat and rice-noodle dish that comes with bean sprouts, basil, herbs and lime juice, it's pretty difficult to mess up.

Somehow, Savor Fare, a restaurant specializing in Vietnamese food, messed pho up. A spoonful of this stuff felt like a cinnamon kick in the teeth. The powerful spice overpowered everything else in the dish and sealed the sour deal for me. I'm gonna give it to you straight. Savor Fare, while a cheap and easy place to grab a quick bite, is not worth it.

Savor Fare: Vietnamese + Chinese

8601 Huebner, Ste 103,
(210) 641-1234,
Best Bets Simple dishes that can't be over-seasoned or charred. Vermicelli bowl is popular. Hot and sour soup is a staple here.
Hours Lunch 11:30am-2:30pm; Dinner 5pm-9pm Mon-Sat
Prices $-$$

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