In Ben Thanh, people grow relationships, spend time with the family and celebrate special occasions. With each dining experience we are treated to the simple pleasure of good food, good friends, and good time.
Unlike a lot of people I do not come here for the soup, I love their combo plates and I love vermicelli so that is my standing order.
Agree with many here, the service is not what most expect when compared with many places, and hardly anyone speaks English...but it is what it is. You write your numbers down and out it comes. I have never had my order messed up, anyways.
The fresh homemade shakes (coconut and mango are my picks) are wonderful but can almost fill you up too much. Nevertheless I do suggest them!
I brought my best friend here and yeah, the bathrooms grossed her right out...but hey again, it is what it is. I just try not to use them. I don't come for the bathrooms, service or ambiance, I come for the food and I love their food!
Can't say I ever remember what I have eaten here, but its always good. I honestly pick a random vegetarian dish off the menu and have never been disapointed. Great food, great value. The infamousness of this place's disregard for service and atmosphere adds to it's charm for me. Sometimes you just have to go to a place for the food and the food alone. Their food makes up for anything else that is below expectations.
The food is amazing. Service is non-existent! Most wait staff do not speak much comprehendible English.
Having said that, you go there for the food not the service. The price is great and the food is the best I have had anywhere. Better than some places at a much higher price.
Something has either happened to this place or something has happened to my food standards.
Years ago when it was the only game in town, I used to really enjoy coming here. But I ate here again recently and wasn't impressed.
I had some serious digestion issues after eating here. (The food tasted OK though). It seems like they put way too much flavoring and junk into the broth. (This might be good if you like it, but it didn't sit well with my stomach).
The service (as always) was subpar. I'm not sure why the people who serve here are as rude as they are. (Years ago, this was tolerable, but nowadays it's not).
The food is awesome here, I would highly recommend it, Although it can be very frustrating to order ahead on the telephone because they don't understand you if you don't say what number the item your trying to order. So I guess we'd all better learn to speak their language if you want to order ahead.
I am a regular patron. Have been alone, with my wife, and with groups of as many as 12.
Love the food, love the buzz as the place is always packed. Good solid food at a great value.
Some reviewers of B & T have been unduly critical. yes it is busy, yes the servers are Asian and do not speak English well, yes it is a hole in the wall, yes you have to write down the number of your menu item to order it, and yes the basement washroom are pretty dingy. But, once in a while, it is good to get off the culinary high horse and eat some darn good food, isn't it???
I think it is... and places like B & T make it an adventure. As one other reviewer mentioned, Thanks Mr. Highpants!
The previous few reviews make me laugh simply because honestly: this is a place you come to for the food not for the atmosphere - but even that is fine with me. If you like Thai/Vietnamese cuisine then you will likely enjoy the food here... No, you will not get the kind of service where your server goes out of hers/his way to be at your table checking on you throughout your meal - are you kidding me! They are busy! But then again this is not the kind of place you come for the service. That said, I have NEVER, ever been rude to! We always feel welcome here, always get smiles and greetings when upon arrival as well as on the way out. It's true, the place gets comically overcrowded - and that too tells you something: the food is delicious, fresh and let's face it - ridiculously affordable!
I really do not get the hype on this place. Horrible food, dreadful service, not that clean, and the owner/manager is the most miserable person I've ever seen.
I stopped eating here 3 years ago but my friends begged me to go last night and it just re-affirmed my decision to stop going. The manager was so rude to us, it took them 30 minutes to give us menu's, there was 4 of us and they only gave us utensils for 3 (which also took forever to get another set).
I will never set foot near this dive ever again!
Very disappointing experience.
The place was crowded (like a lot of reviews here mentioned). It's not enjoyable when you're crammed into a seating area.
My server could not speak English if his life depended on it. They relied on the numbers on the menu, not the actual name of the food. So asking about portion sizes, and what was in everything was out of the question.
I didn't like my order. The spring rolls were alright, my pop came at the end of my meal, but this tofu mess I ordered was awful.
Bad service, poor facility, and bad food.
I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
The restaurant was recommended by several friends who gave it great reviews. We went for lunch.
First off, the service is absolutely terrible. The older gentleman who took our orders has to be, without doubt, the grumpiest person who has ever served food, truly miserable. However, once the order was placed, the food came very quickly.
The spring roll appetizers were terrible. They were both greasy and soggy at the same time. The Pad Thai was bland and dull, and the pork/noodle dish was horrible. The pork was all gristle and fat and very stringy. All the while we were eating, one of the restaurant workers was drying chopsticks and cutlery at the table beside us, making an huge racket.
We left this place confused, disgusted, and feeling a bit ill. For anyone who thinks this is great Vietnamese food, please try some where else, anywhere!
Okay its crowded. The service is impersonal, and...
Okay its crowded. The service is impersonal, and you may have to share a table-for-eight with people you don't know and who likely don't speak English. It is, however, the best deal in town. I have regularly eaten here with a friend for less than $20 for us both - and that isn't skimping either. I'm sure there is stuff on this menu that doesn't fit what the average Western European has come to expect. I found their pad thai unexciting, for example. Their curried beef with basil sends me into gastronimic ecstacy, however, and their General Huo's soup makes me sad that my culture hasn't trained me to work with these flavours, so I can recreate it.
Not fine dining, but a great place to have food with an old friend you don't need to impress.
I would actually give the food a 7.5 if possible as you have to be careful with what you order and Vietnamese food definatley adheres to very specific taste-buds. Generally the spring rolls and green curry shrimp are excellent, while noodles are often hit and miss. Service here is usally brutal. Mr. High-pants is just a grumpy guy and the first time I came here the waitress actually said "youve been too long, you have to order now" (Ill admit I spent about 10 min. w/ my menu - considering this was my first time and I was trying to help a friend pick something as well). Decor is nice and the enviorment is always upbeat (dispite bad service) lots of University students go here. I like the asian market next store as well. Viatnamese Iced Cap is the best thing EVER. I will probably go here again, but probably by myself.
Don't pay too much attention to what Threeflavours wrote. I'm sorry they didn't enjoy their meal, but they are the only person I've ever heard of who hasn't enjoyed this place. You can tell a good place when the ethnics eat there, and it is usually packed. Also, it isn't just Thai food. It is a fusion of Thai and Vietnamese. The value is pretty reasonable; the surroundings casual. I often recommend this place and those people that I've recommended it to have gone back again and again.
Absolutely terrible food, tasteless to the point that my dog wouldn't even eat it..
The Pad Thai tasted like it came out of a chef boyardee can, if chef boyardee made Pad Thai..
The other 2 dishes were boring, bland, and tasteless.. Boiled chicken was the lowlight of the dishes, and the Chicken Satays were the exact same chicken that was in the Cashew chicken..
This is a sorry excuse for Thai Food, and I would HATE to bring someone here to try Thai for the first time, they would be repulsed..
I would NEVER recommend this place, not even if I was starving in a gutter would I go back there.
As always, the food is amazing! This is the first time I've strayed away from #303 and I wasn't disappointed. Excellent value for the quality (and amount) of food one gets. We've got to go back more often than we do.
This place has been revamped in beige and black...
This place has been revamped in beige and black and looks almost up-market. Everyone, including the lovely Mr High Pants, now dons all black to match the new leather-like chairs...stylin'. Really, it's a big improvement that should comfort nervous first-timers. Food is excellent: big portions, fresh ingredients, authentic flavours. As for service, I like the fact that the wait staff don't talk. I don't want to know that Jolly Johnny or whoever will be my server for the night. Filling out your own food order form is a great system (avoids mistakes) plus there's photos on the menu for guidance... And what's not to like about having a free pot of tea delivered the moment you're seated? As long as the food arrives quickly and error-free (which it does) I'm happy. Frankly, the minimal service IS a service to anyone tired of annoying, incompetent wait staff.
As always, this is the one restaurant in Hamilton...
As always, this is the one restaurant in Hamilton we know we'll enjoy the food at! And now the new ambiance totally reflects that too. Service is great, we always get seated quickly and served our meals without any delay. The food itself is always flavorful and delicious without being unhealthy. Their spicy dishes are really spicy! But we love spicy! Probably one of our favorite restaurants in the area.
I thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant. It has the...
I thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant. It has the best soup, and really ample portions. All of you who seem so concerned about smiles from staff, it is a cultural thing. It doesn't mean they don't like you. If you're that needy, go somewhere else. You can't go wrong with the food here, though.