Food Porn: Niagara Seafood

I’ve wanted to go back to Niagara Seafood for a while; our write up from February  really wasn’t a fair representation of the restaurant/grocery store.  But at the time I was really excited to share my discovery of fairly authentic Banh Mi sandwiches and figured I’d do my best with my take-out order.  On that first trip, the sandwich was handed to me pre-made from a cooler and the pho that I ordered had to be reheated in parts at my house.  Since that meal I’ve wanted to revisit and dine inside the restaurant and write a “proper” Food Porn.  So with the cold Buffalo winter starting to creep up on us, Alli and I decided we were in the mood for some pho and Niagara Seafood’s luckily a short drive down Niagara Street from our neighborhood.

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Grocery Store, Take Out, Casual Dining
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese
  • Prices: Most Items Under $10, Seafood $10-25
  • Location: West Side

In case you didn’t read our previous review, Niagara Seafood is a Vietnamese Restaurant/Seafood Market located on Niagara Street in the West Side.  While the outside of the restaurant might not be that appealing, the interior has been dramatically remodeled with a large freezer lining one wall, a large counter and menu at the rear of the building (pictured above) and several tables for dining in.  This place isn’t a dive; everything in the place still looks new and we even were entertained with a large flat screen TV that was playing a Vietnamese Holiday Concert.

Alli ordered herself a small bowl of Beef Pho (#1, $6.99) while I decided to change it up and try a small bowl of Bon bo Hue (Spicy Beef Soup) (#2, $6.99 and pictured above).   Served along side the traditional plate of garnishes (lime, bean sprouts, cilantro),  the Beef Pho that Alli tried was fairly large and served with very raw pieces of beef.  Unfortunately, it was lacking any sort of strong flavor.  We had just recently had Pho a couple days earlier at Pho Saigon and the broth had an amazing beefy flavor, honestly we barely had to add any spices or seasonings to it at all.  But with Niagara Seafood’s bowl of Pho, she added a generous spoon of chili sauce, hoison sauce and a squeeze of lime and it still didn’t taste quite right.

My bowl of Bon bo Hue was slightly different then the Beef Pho.  Instead of rice noodles, my bowl had a traditional Vermicelli noodle.  The broth had a slight oily texture and at first it wasn’t very spicy, or so I thought.  The first couple of sips were pretty tame so I added several spoonfuls of the chili.  A couple minutes later the heat had really built up to a level that was almost too much to handle.  I guess I should have waited before adding more heat to an already spicy dish.  The soup was filled with slices of beef, some slices of pork and some Vietnamese sausage.  The pork was very tender but the sausage reminded me of pre-made meatballs and the beef was tender but not trimmed and very fatty.

Back in February the most exciting menu item at Niagara Seafood for me was their Banh Mi.  Back then the owner told me the baguette roll was imported from an authentic bakery in Toronto.  When we went back last week we found out they weren’t using the same baguette (the rolls resemble something from Constanzo’s), but the rest of the sandwich was pretty much the same.  The sandwich has changed in size, formally a foot long sandwich it’s now about 8 inches but still a great deal for under $5.  Loaded with Vietnamese Ham and Sausage, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro and topped with a buttery pate, it’s definitely a filling sandwich that Alli and I were able to split.  That said, the roll was slightly disappointing.

We don’t often have the time to revisit a lot of restaurants but I’d like to revisit Niagara Seafood for a third time to try more of their menu.  While we weren’t super impressed with the pho or banh mi, there are plenty of other dishes on the menu.  As I started writing this article I noticed their facebook account (not a page) and found out they offer different Vietnamese and Seafood specials every week.  If you are looking to shop for Asian groceries, I’d recommend visiting the neighboring A Chau International Market.  While it’s not as “nice” inside, the selection of vegetables, meats, seafood and long shelves of seasonings/sauces is very impressive.

Photo Gallery:

Niagara Seafood on Urbanspoon

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