Song Long Is Roselawn’s Hidden Gem


→  I ask for my fortune cookie first. “You will soon be receiving a phone call with exciting news.” I’m delighted, but I haven’t had a phone call in weeks. And when is “soon?” I ask what is the most popular dish they serve on these aging, white, embroidered tablecloths. I’m told it’s cold noodles, since Vietnam is so hot. I don’t order them. The hot and sour soup comes. It’s more of a hot and sweet soup. I have the xao thap cam, tofu and vegetables in a clear sauce on sticky rice. Hearty and wonderful. Still no phone call.

Photograph by Amy Elizabeth Spasoff

The waiter brings me a tiny bowl. It’s a sample of the sesame noodles I didn’t order. Egg noodles with julienned snow peas, broccoli, red peppers, and mushrooms in a dressing of soy sauce, sesame oil, and olive oil. Bet it goes great with an ice-cold Vietnamese Hue or 33 beer. Nope: phone’s not on vibrate.

With Vietnamese food so popular, you’d think this fantastic little restaurant, which has been in Roselawn for 33 years, would be packed. But fortune hasn’t been kind to Song Long either. When the exodus happened and the neighborhood got up and moved to Blue Ash, customers left. So a lot of people are missing out on the extensive, authentic menu, including pho noodles and broth and the tasty banh mi thit pork barbecue sandwiches. Which is a shame, since the prices are reasonable, the place is centrally located, and the charm of the aging character abounds. Still, my phone doesn’t ring. But theirs does. It’s a five-minute long carry out order. Hmm. Maybe fortunes do come true.

Song Long, 1737 Section Rd., Roselawn, (513) 351-7631, Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat.

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