My recent report on the creation of a sixth location in the Buffalo area for Louie's Texas Red Hots mentioned the location at 1098 Elmwood Avenue, at West Utica Street. What it didn't answer was the question of what will happen to the restaurant that is resident there.
That bit of business now is solved. The owners of Saigon Café on Wednesday confirmed they have signed a lease to take over a location nearby, the former urban bistro called Mode, also on Elmwood. It will make the move later this summer to allow renovation of its current space in anticipation of a fall debut for Louie's.
The Saigon Cafe serves a Vietnamese- and Thai-based menu. Although it has a small, 20-label wine list, it is known for its thoughtful selections that include such offerings as Casillero Diablo Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, Trimbach Pinot Blanc from France, and Penfolds Koonunga Hills Shiraz from Australia.
The simple lunch menu relies on curries and stir-fry dishes along with 16 noodle or vegetarian dishes. The dinner menu is more expansive -- eight appetizers, seven soups, as well as noodle dishes, seafood entrees, vermicilli buns, a dozen vegetarian dishes, and such house specials as Thai duck (marinated and grilled), Ca Koh To (catfish with spicy caramel sauce) and several seasonal dishes with deep-fried whole red snapper as the main ingredient.
Saigon Café is expected to maintain its current hours in the new location: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday. noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 716-883-1252.
The Louie's move to the Saigon site will bring to six the number of venues the regional chain occupies. The existing ones are at 777 Harlem Road in West Seneca; 4890 Transit Road in Depew; 3905 Southwestern Boulevard in Orchard Park, and 2350 Delaware Avenue and 2811 Bailey Avenue in Buffalo. The Bailey Avenue location was the first Louie's, founded in 1967 by Louie Galanes. The company also offers a mobile catering service at 716-998-4687.