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“What A Find”
Review of Nam So'n

Nam So'n
Ranked #2,271 of 4,522 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Restaurant details
Reviewed 29 September 2013

This restaurant and the adjacent market are a must-see and a fantastic foody stop. The Pho looked like the real thing (big plate of veggies and herbs to dress the soup). We opted for tofu spring rolls and a Vietnamese "hoagie" each of which were fantastic. The owners were lunching beside us and I am going back for their meal which looked delicious.

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Thank jeffnilsson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 June 2013

This is a great little place. Started off with Summer Rolls with shrimp and chicken. The peanut dipping sauce was yummy. The rolls were nice with super fresh leaves of basil and mint. Next was the papaya salad which was also, very tasty. One complaint: there was too much meat. I like my salads to be, well,....salady!

Next up were the entrees. The top, creme de la creme, by far, was the (english name) Vietnamese pancake with rice cake. I wish I remembered the Vietnamese name. This dish is fabulous! YOU HAVE TO GET IT! The dipping sauce was just the most perfect accompaniment. This dish was great tasting, interestingly textured, and when you dipped the pancake into the soyish, salty, fishy, blackened sauce.....well! What else can I say. Perfection!

We also ordered the Vericelli with meatballs, grilled chicken and shrimp, and Spring Roll. A very good dish. The Spring roll was nicely flavored and came with a good crunch. Next up was my dish, which I can't recall the name either. I've ordered the dish for years. Bahn something. Discs of rice paper that I dip into warm water with softens it up. Then you can stuff it with mint and basil leaves, pickled carrots and (radish?), vermicelli noddles, bits of scallion, peanuts, and the meat of your choice. I chose the beef wrapped in grape leaves. After you stuff the softened rice paper with all this, you roll it up and fold the ends. Two more steps: You then roll this into a nice fresh leaf of lettuce which you dip into a another sauce that is simply sublime.

The Vietnamese coffee is also very good.

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Thank Dougmg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2013

In the Philadelphia area Asian markets and restaurants often find homes in cinder block constructions that once served another purpose. The corner establishment at 16th and Washington is just such a place. A yellow awning with bright red letters announces a grocery store, Raymond’s Music and Nam So’n. Don’t be intimated by the locale. Park your car where you can and prepare yourself for one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in the city. Nam Son is not a distinct building. It is nestled among a row of varied shops along the inside arcade that leads to a Vietnamese grocery store. Open the door to Nam Son and you can see by the clientele that this restaurant certainly meets the dining demands of Philadelphia’s Vietnamese community. While there is nothing elaborate or particularly decorative in the décor, the restaurant is clean and open. Tables are spaced within several distinct areas. The back room with its open window seems best for large families. The small section to the right suggests quiet and would suit dinner for two. The middle section is generic and works fine for lunch.
Nam Son’s menu is fairly extensive. It takes some time to make your decision. If you are not familiar with Vietnamese dishes it would be good to ask for help. Even with some idea of the offerings, I find it good to ask for suggestions. Our first choice was the Pho. You cannot eat at a Vietnamese restaurant and not have pho. Today we selected the deluxe. For our second dish the duck salad seemed interesting. For our third we selected rice paper wraps (Bahn). Wraps are another essential at a Vietnamese restaurant. We opted for grilled pork. For our final dish the clay pot pork and shrimp was too tempting. As usual, (if you read my other reviews) we asked to share and we asked to be served one dish at a time. The server was most accommodating.
The large bowl of pho was certainly enough for three or even four. The broth, rich and dense, was certainly one of the best I have enjoyed. The meats, plentiful and diverse, complemented the hearty and teeth grabbing noodles. Gelatinous strips of tripe melted easily and contrasted with the still pink beef strips. Has any culture created a soup so warming, so satisfying as the Vietnamese pho?
As we finished the first serving of the pho and were setting out our second serving (the large pho bowl easily offered enough), our server brought us our next course, the duck salad. Seeing that we were still working on the soup and remembering our request for one dish at a time he noted that he would have the kitchen move a bit more slowly.
If there is something that distinguishes Vietnamese food it is the use of fresh, bright and crunchy vegetables. Vietnamese dishes are light, robust and shimmering with vibrant taste. The duck salad, easily shared by three or four, sparkled on the tongue. The tiny strips of carrots and greens tussle your taste buds from gustatory indifference in the way that your hands wake a reticent child from sleep.
Our next selection, the vermicelli rice wraps did not quite match the menu. There were no rice paper wraps. We questioned the server and within seconds, several others appeared and confirmed that there was indeed an error on the printed menu. Without a moment of question, they immediately offered to correct the mistake. The eventual grilled pork wrap was quite good, although perhaps not exceptional.
Our final course, clay pot pork and shrimp, takes the tongue and mind to another world. If you are brave enough, you can include the red chili that sits atop the dish. I have not yet managed that level of Vietnamese food. Move the red chili garnish to the side and plunge into a wonderfully intense dark sauce that sizzles and bubbles hot and alive around shrimp and strips of pork. Clay pot, along with pho, must be the greatest creations of Vietnamese cooking.
From the moment we entered the staff at Nam Son attended to our every need. Our servers immediately corrected errors in the menu. Fresh plates and new chopsticks greeted every course. Even after we said that we would keep the same utensils, the server insisted on new ones.
The price for a wonderful Sunday lunch with four courses for three people was less than $50. Once again, don’t be put off by location and immediate impressions. Nam Son offers one of the best Vietnamese dining experiences in Philadelphia.

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1  Thank TonyDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2012

My family is very demanding when it comes to eating out. Basically we want everything to taste authentic, and not compromised for the "average American" tourist tastebud. Nam Son delivers on the taste, price, and even hygiene. It is better than all the viet restaurants I have tried out in new York, new jersey, and pennsylvania. It is that good. They only use free range and freshly butchered chickens and you can taste it in their chicken congee. Only warning, they could probably reduce their dependence on MSG in their soups.

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Thank nubux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2012

I adore Vietnamese food, and always thought Nam Phuong was the best there was in Philadelphia; until I ate here. This place was recommended to me by a Vietnamese woman I know, and it's incredible. The atmosphere is a bit rough, as it's in a industrial strip-mall type of structure on 16th and Washington, but it's all about the food. The summer rolls with shrimp were fantastic, but it was the Pho that stood out. The broth was so deeply flavored, and everything was so fresh. I swear, if you like Vietnamese, give this place a try, I've never had better.

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Thank Denise H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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