Food show on PBS to feature Alameda restaurant

Published for the Alameda Magazine website, a few moments ago!

Dragon Rouge, the popular Vietnamese bistro on Encinal Ave., is celebrating.

On July 14, the owners are serving up complimentary bar snacks all night and Aloe Saketinis and Basil Drops at a discount. They’ve hired a DJ to keep people groovin’ from 9 p.m. to midnight. They’re doing it big, because it’s a big night.

Friends of Dragon Rouge are invited to come to the restaurant and watch that night’s episode of “Check Please Bay Area.” Yes, Dragon Rouge is being featured on “Check Please Bay Area.”

On the show, three guests each pick a favorite local restaurant and then they dine at the chosen spots. They come on to the show, exchange dining stories and rate each restaurant.

Dan Nguyen, part owner of Dragon Rouge, was surprised and nervous when he first got the news. “There was a message from PBS ‘Check Please’ on our answering machine back in May. I watch that show and thought to myself, really?”

Really. The three mystery guests have already dined at Dragon Rouge and the taping took place June 13. According to Nguyen, “Check Please” focused on the restaurant’s warm family atmosphere, the two cocktails they’ll be serving at the viewing party and an array of signature dishes — the Bouncing Beef, Mekong Meat Platter, Classic Catfish Claypot and Dizzy Dragon Roll Sampler, to name a few.

Nguyen is thrilled about the potential publicity.

“This could be that extra boost we need to grow and solidify our delicious brand of Vietnamese food in the Bay Area,” he says.

All are invited to the viewing party, but RSVP-ing with the restaurant is recommended due to space limitations. The episode will air at 7:30 p.m. on PBS, channel 9. For more information about Dragon Rouge, visit


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