Ex-Survivor Contestant Now Serving American Comfort Food To Saigonese | Vietcetera
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Nov 11, 2022
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Ex-Survivor Contestant Now Serving American Comfort Food To Saigonese

Currently across from the Wink Hotel in D1, you will find Eat Me, a food stand run by ex-Survivor contestant Cao Boi (pronounced Cow Boy), serving up American homemade comfort food and life stories.
Ex-Survivor Contestant Now Serving American Comfort Food To Saigonese

Source: Lien Sterkens

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆☆

“I just love food.” That’s the motivation of owner Cao Boi behind his food stand ‘Eat Me’. That’s all you need to start Saigon’s new favorite spot for comfort food.

Vietnam-born, US-raised.
Contestant on the 13th season of the American TV show Survivor.
Wears a long gray beard and a big smile.
Serves delicious food.

There are endless things to know about the eccentric owner, but these are the basics. When you stop by Eat Me, he’ll tell you all the rest.

Cao Boi, Eat Me’s owner, and his signature smile.

Open for four months now, the stand is serving delicious burgers, tacos, chili cheese dogs, and even peanut butter & jelly sandwiches to the residents of this bustling metropolitan. “I just make the food I grew up with,” says Cao Boi. Now he’s bringing his favorite childhood comfort food to Saigon.

Owner Cao Boi waving us hello from across the street at his stand, Eat Me.

Before he opened his food stand, he visited a fortune teller. “They told me to do 180 degrees different from what everyone else does”, explains Cao Boi. “They said: then you will be successful.” He took that advice to heart and opened his food stand on the 4th of July, serving all-natural American comfort food for Vietnamese and expats alike.

And I must say, comforting it is.

Everything is homemade or locally sourced at Eat Me.

Eat Me is the spot for you if you’re craving some homemade eats. Everything is either made from scratch or locally sourced from some trusted vendors. “Food has to be good,” adds the enthusiastic owner. “If the food is good, it takes care of itself.” For example, he says no to MSG, preaching that those flavors exist in nature and can be created by using the right ingredients.

So, if you’re looking for hot takes on MSG on the side of your delicious cheeseburger, Eat Me is the place to be.

So let’s talk about the food!

Best Cheese Burger for 80K at Eat Me

The first must-order is the classic cheeseburger. This burger is cheap and delicious. Imagine the best homemade burger at your neighborhood BBQ. One smash patty, two slices of cheese, three-hour caramelized onions, and a bit of homemade chili sauce for a small kick. Some fans are even dubbing this one of the best burgers in Saigon.

Perfect messy cheeseburger. The messiest ones are the best ones.

Luckily, the burger won’t fill you up entirely, so you can try other foods you’re craving on the menu.

At Eat Me, you can add a free-range egg to anything. Look at that yolk!

Next on your list should be the Chili Cheese Dog. A hotdog with a great snap to it on a toasted sesame bun. Then, very meaty chili is added to reach the ultimate standard of comfort food. Of course, the three-hour caramelized onions make a return, and there are some fresh onions for some crunch. Oh, so messy, oh so good.

“I’ve had Americans visit who told me they had chili from the best places in America. Mine was their favorite,” says Cao Boi proudly.

Try the Chili Cheese Jumbo Dog for 150K. Good to share with a friend!

And for dessert: a PB&J, of course.

A very simple but tasty sandwich.

What do you see when you think of the ultimate childhood American comfort food? For me, that’s a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich. But this is not an ordinary PB & J. It’s made with starfruit jelly, handmade by Cao Bui. And yes, he even hand-climbed the tree and hand-picked them (it’s a great story, let him tell you when you visit).

Eat Me’s menu. You can pay by cash or bank transfer.

The Đa Kao food stand has garnered a lot of fans in Saigon already. And those fans are here to support Cao Boi’s delicious business. One customer donated tables and chairs. Another will provide a new kitchen set up and oven to make flatbreads from scratch. And another one will even take up his marketing!

An entire ‘Eat Me’ community is forming, and it’s a great sight to see.

The compact Eat Me kitchen where Cao Boi’s ‘sous chef’ is preparing our burgers.

At Eat Me, you come for the food, you stay for the owner’s life adventures. Cao Boi has lived many lives, but I’m happy I’m around for the life where he’s cooking delicious burgers in the city where I live.

Definitely worth a visit.


PS: they are moving locations, so after November 19th, check out their new river view location

Eat Me
Until 19 November: 32 Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm, Đa Kao, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
After 19 November (new location): 83b Hoang Sa (Bờ Kè), Đa Kao, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh

Current opening hours:
Monday - Saturday: 11:30 - 22:00
Sunday closed

Opening hours at the new location:
Monday - Saturday: 4pm - 1pm late at night