Thursday, September 16, 2010

Saigon Sisters' Inspired Vietnamese Street Food Will Expand Into Chicago's Fulton River District This Fall

**Editor's note: To arrange interviews with or to obtain media materials on Saigon Sisters, please contact Kurman Communications at (312) 651-9000. To contact Saigon Sisters directly, call the Chicago French Market location at (773) 383-8828.** Saigon Sisters, the inspired Vietnamese street food kiosk that has gained a strong following at the Chicago French Market, will expand its horizons in late fall 2010 with the opening of a full restaurant at 567 W. Lake Street (at Clinton) in Chicago’s Fulton River District. The new location, Saigon Sisters Restaurant, will be open for counter service breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Saigon Sisters is the brainchild of sisters Mary Nguyen Aregoni and Theresa Nguyen. They were born in Laos, lived in Vietnam and Thailand as children and came to the United States with their family in 1976. “Our passion is to bring the delicious street foods we grew up with to Chicago, offering creative, contemporary interpretations but using authentic Southeast Asian ingredients,” said Mary. “Saigon Sisters Restaurant will be a contemporary casual restaurant where our guests can enjoy deliciously fresh, quickly prepared food during breakfast and lunch and can come back to relax and enjoy a frequently changing menu of interesting small and large plates at dinnertime.”

Saigon Sisters Restaurant, with a cozy atmosphere, will offer many of the delicious Pho (noodle), Bánh Mì (sandwich) and Goi Cuon (spring roll) selections that are so popular in its Chicago French Market location, but with expanded hours and menu. “We will raise the bar at dinnertime with a more inventive menu,” said Mary. Price points will be $5 for breakfast, $6-10 at lunch and less than $20 for dinner.

Heading the culinary team will be Executive Chef Matt Eversman, who has built his résumé at Charlie Trotter’s and May Street Market. “This will be a departure for me, and it’s an exciting one,” said Eversman. “I personally love the food and eating style of Southeast Asia and so it will be very rewarding for me to blend my French cooking technique with these wonderful Asian flavors. The food will be creative and modern.”
The Nguyen sisters bring a strong family food tradition to their restaurants. They were greatly inspired by their mother and grandmother, who were successful entrepreneurs in Vietnam and grew an open-market grocery into a large food market operation that was the main supplier to nearby embassies.

“We were immersed in a food environment with roots that went beyond Vietnam into neighboring Laos, Cambodia and Thailand and which also had a heavy French influence,” said Mary. “With Saigon Sisters we’re striving to offer recipes with a modern twist that reflect this international dynamic.”

The sisters have also been inspired by Korean-American restaurateur David Chang and his highly lauded Momofuku restaurants in New York City: “Great food, really casual and down to earth,” said Mary. “We think Chicagoans will love what we’re doing, which brings the concepts of Vietnamese quality and modern casual together to form the Saigon Sisters’ dining experience.”
For more information about Saigon Sisters, please visit the website at or contact Mary Nguyen Aregoni at her Chicago French Market location, (773) 383-8828.

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