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