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Mai Lee Vietnamese Restaurant in St. Louis, MO
The Menu at Mai Lee
The Vietnamese portion of the menu is highlighted by full dinners for two-to-four people, ranging in price from $33-to-$59. They include appetizers, soups, specialties and stir-frys.
The rest of the menu is numbered for easy ordering. It starts with over 20 soups and phos. They also offer more than 20 cold and hot appetizers, ranging from eggrolls to dumplings to kabobs. Four sandwiches are offered, followed by noodle bowls, rice plates, and then specialty dinners segregated by protein type; beef, chicken, pork, seafood and vegetarian.
The menu finishes with Dinner Salads, yet more "Specialties", Do-It-Yourself-Springrolls, and Fire-pot Soups. All together, there are 202 items on the Vietnamese menu. As if that was not enough choices, there are over 60 items on the Chinese menu as well. We have yet to order anything off the Chinese menu, though. We go for Vietnamese!
The History of Mai Lee
Mai Lee was opened by Lee Tran in 1985 on the Delmar Loop in St. Louis, Missouri. Mrs. Tran, her husband, and their eldest son escaped a war-torn Vietnam in 1980 and were transplanted in St. Louis. She began waiting tables in Chinese restaurants to earn money. Five years later, she was able to open Mai Lee, which featured a full Chinese menu.
Upon learning of her true heritage, her patrons began urging her to feature some Vietnamese dishes on the menu, which she obliged. To her delight, the dishes were a success, and she began adding more and more of her native delights. Eventually, the menu became mostly Vietnamese, and the Chinese dishes were relegated to the back page of the menu, where they still reside today.
Mai Lee was the first Vietnamese restaurant in St. Louis and is still regarded by many as the best. They have moved from their original location on Delmar to a much bigger, modern location in Brentwood, at 8396 Musick Memorial Drive.
Mai Lee Vietnamese in St. Louis
Hours and Prices
Mai Lee is open 11-9, Tuesday through Thursday, 11-10, Friday through Sunday, and closed on Mondays.
Their prices are very reasonable and range from $8-$11 for soups, $4-$7 for appetizers, $4 for sandwiches, $7-$10 for noodle and rice dishes, and $13-$21 for entrees.
We have visited Mai Lee over five times now and recommend it to anyone living in the St. Louis metro area or in town for a visit.