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Saigon Bangkok opening Hamburg restaurant that leans Vietnamese

The family that operates Saigon Bangkok restaurants in Tonawanda and Amherst is opening a Southtowns location in Hamburg.

The Truong family bought the former Mike's Lucky Dog building at 255 Buffalo St., and have renovated it for a restaurant. It will serve mostly Vietnamese dishes, and hopefully open by the end of March, said Tommy Truong, an owner.

His family operates Saigon Bangkok, 512 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda, one of the longest-serving Asian restaurants in town. A second location, 8080 Transit Road, Amherst, opened about 10 years ago.

[Read 2012 review of Saigon Bangkok's original location here.]

While the other Saigon Bangkok locations split their menus between Vietnamese and Thai dishes, the Hamburg menu will be mostly Vietnamese, Truong said. His wife and business partner Hong My Trinh is from northern Vietnam, and the new menu will offer dishes from that region.

"We're going to incorporate more traditional noodle soups," he said. Those include bun bo hue, a spicy noodle soup with a lemongrass-flavored beef broth, and bun rieu, which often includes tomato and crab. "She's bringing a new touch" to the Saigon Bangkok menu, he said.

There will still be pho, the iconic Vietnamese beef noodle soup, and other dishes like pork chops on rice.

The restaurant will seat about 45, Truong said.Like the space, "the menu will not be as expansive" as the other restaurants.

"We completely gutted the place, and built an addition to the front vestibule, to make sure that when customers open the door, the wind gusts of the Southtowns don't make it to the dining room," he said.

In good weather, patio tables will be available, adding to the attraction of a neighborhood that has become more walkable. The restaurant has applied for a beer and wine license, and may open before it's approved.

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