Convoy Noodle House
4647 Convoy St. #101B
Kearny Mesa 858-277-0133
There's no shortage of cheap eats in San Diego, but it can be hard to find stuff that's both cheap and good. When it comes to getting a big bang for the buck, Vietnamese has become my go-to cuisine, and Convoy Noodle House is an excellent place to go for a Vietnamese fix.
The Noodle House offers a huge array of choices for diners on a budget. Pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup, goes for between $4.60 and $5.25 a bowl, with a choice of chicken, rare steak, meatballs or shrimp. Bun, a dish comprising lettuce and vegetables topped with rice noodles and a choice of protein, goes for between $5 and $6 a bowl. But the ne plus ultra of their bargains would have to be the 7 Course Beef for $15.95.
The first two courses are cooked on a tabletop burner. The first is beef fondue-thinly sliced beef boiled in a vinegar broth-and the second is beef sautéed in butter and onions. The remaining five courses are served all at once, including a large meatball in broth, three pairs of different grilled ground meats with a variety of wrappings and a bowl of rice soup with beef.
The procedure for everything but the soup is to soften a sheet of rice paper in a bowl of hot water, lay down some lettuce, mint, basil, bean sprouts, pickled garlic and carrot, top with some meat, roll it up and dip it in the provided dipping sauce. My favorite is the grilled beef, served sweet and smoky from the grill-especially the grape-leaf-wrapped beef. This is available as an entrée on its own for $8.50.
Though the 7 Course Beef is ample enough for two, you can add the excellent ground shrimp-salad rolls as an appetizer for $3.50 and still come in at $20.