Black Cat’s new burrito shop adds some filling comfort food options to the Saigon culinary scene. Photos by Fred Wissink.
One thing Saigon seriously lacks is a good selection of Mexican food. While El Gato Negro may not satisfy your every south-of-the-border craving, it will definitely take the edge off.
El Gato Negro is Geoffrey Deetz’s newest Black Cat venture, converting it from his previous cupcake and bagel shop. Conveniently located on Pasteur Street, the shop itself is small with only a few tables available for customers to sit at.
If the shop is too cozy for you, burritos are something that travel very well and Black Cat’s excellent delivery service will get them to you fast.
The menu boasts a wide range of burrito options with choices like the classic ground beef, with rice and beans (VND 135,000) to el Saigon (VND 150,000), which includes BBQ lemongrass chicken, fried rice, refried black beans and pineapple salsa. They also have vegetarian options like el Californian (VND 120,000), a mix of BBQ vegetables, garlic tofu, fried rice and whole red beans.
We opt for the chilli verde pork (VND 145,000), a mild mix of pork simmered in cilantro with jalapenos, lime, green rice and refried beans. I prefer my burritos spicy, so I’m pleased to see a few different hot sauce options, other than the usual Tabasco, sitting on the counter. These burritos are exactly what you would find in a burrito shop in the US; flour tortillas bulging with ingredients and spicy juices that make a mess of your hands as you eat. They even come wrapped in tinfoil to keep everything together.
On the side, we order the nachos grande (VND 150,000), an overflowing plate of tortilla chips, cheese sauce, ground beef (or any meat option you’d like), whole beans, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and pickled jalapenos on top. The stand out of this dish is the cheese sauce, the thick yellowy stuff you would get at a bowling alley or sports game instead of just the cheap melted cheese that is usually found on nachos in Saigon.
After splitting these two dishes, we are more than full. A single burrito at El Gato Negro is enough to keep even the hungriest stomach satisfied for hours.
182 Pasteur Street, D1
Tel: 08 66 60 1577
11am to 11pm, 7 days
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