My favorite dish is goi cuon, which are veggie, noodle, meat and shrimp rolled into a wet bang trang rice paper. Best sauce is Man Ruon Tom, which is what Altus describes, but my wife mixes it with a bit of pre-mixed nuoc mam and crushed pineapple, which I can never get in Vietnamese restaurants. In the states, they usually serve it with a sauce made from nuoc mam and hoisin sauce (thuong cho Pho) with crushed peanuts on top. OK, but no substitute for Mam Ruoc Tom. Here in Saigon, I have noted many tourists being served goi cuon without any sauce, or with nothing more than nuon mam, which simply shows how far down Saigon cuisine has falled as of late. You can still get decent broken rice dishes, though.
Common Saigon beers these days are 333, LaRue, Saigon Red and Saigon Green (sold in the States as '33'), San Miguel (on draft in the neighborhood) and Fosters (draft, sold mostly in the backpacker areas) as well as Heineken, which is reasonably priced at $20,000 dong ($1).
The Mam Tom we eat at home is Mam Tom Hue, pickled shrimp from the Hue region, definitely one of Vietnam's finer foods. Also like shredded green papaya salad. Chau Doc has to be, hands down, one of the worst places in Vietnam for food. Yet I found a decent green papaya salad being sold on the streets. They've probably run the vendor out of town by now.
Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!