Alexis Barbour, Staff Writer
Typically, I would not find myself walking into a restaurant called Ugly Bread. But for the sake of my writing career I did. Ugly Bread Vietnamese Cafe is located at 1007 W Roosevelt Boulevard in Monroe, and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The name Ugly Bread comes from a type of bread loved by many that rises more than typical bread, giving the bread a wonderfully coarse texture. The name is obviously an intriguing one, but even the outside had me sketched out from the beginning.
I assume the name is a metaphor for how the owners want people to view their restaurant, a new and delicious meal! Vietnamese food seemed interesting in a “yeah maybe one day when I’m traveling and not broke” kind of way, but as I walked into Ugly Bread, I got a weird vibe.
A small, white concrete building with big red letters opened its caged-in windows and door to me with a cold greeting. “Hello, how are you” muttered a small voice from behind the counter. A quick nod and glance at the menu later, I decided on something I have never heard of before, which was not shocking since I didn’t know half the words on the menu.
I then sat down to await my food’s arrival. Once I received my food that was $13 (like everything else on the menu), I bit into it and was disappointed by what they call beef stir fry co’m.
This dish is typically strips of beef and sliced onions grilled and served with white rice, sliced carrots, sliced cucumbers and fish sauce, but the meat in my dish was extremely chewy. Besides the quality, however, the price is fair for the portions you get, even for a college student on a budget.
I looked around and noticed a 95.5 sanitation rating among the eccentrically designed walls and shiny tile floor. I also noticed that, within the time of my being in Ugly Bread, there were only 4 customers who came in. All of them, excluding one, were new customers from what I heard while eavesdropping, and each seemed hesitant about their dining choice that evening.
The employees were nice and did their jobs correctly, but from my own experience working in retail, you should be welcoming and speak above any background noise to new customers, which is not how I was spoken to.
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, I would give this restaurant a 3. I may seem harsh, but I love all kinds of food (especially bread), just not necessarily Ugly Bread.
Edited by Mason Teague and Ryan Mackintosh
Photo Credits Ugly Bread Facebook