Our recent visit for lunch was very nice, and the excellent reviews for this place are well deserved. The inside is nicely decorated, bright and clean - not necessarily what you would expect of a place located in such a small, dingy strip center.
We were seated quickly, our order promptly taken, and beverages provided. My wife ordered the Special Beef Pho, and I settled on the Chicken with Vegetables lunch special - comes with choice of white or brown rice, and a fried Spring Roll, for about $5. The Special Pho was was priced at $9 or so.
The food was a little slow out of the kitchen, which our nice waitress acknowledged, and the Chicken dish was brought out 5 minutes or so before the Pho - party foul. But, when the Pho came it was worth the small wait - the portion is huge, at least a third larger than any that we had been served at other restaurants, and loaded with goodies - rare beef, well done beef, meat balls, noodles, onions, and tons of the most intensely flavored broth I've had in this dish.
The tray of additional items for the pho - fresh bean sprouts, cilantro (a small amount), basil (a large amount), a slice of lemon, and jalapeno peppers - was provided, and there were several pepper sauces on the table, and Hoisin Sauce was brought as well - and the Hoisin Sauce had an excellent flavor, fresh and sharp.
All this, and some hot sauce, combined with the Pho was excellent. I've about decided that the beef items in pho (where ever served) really bring little in the way of taste to the dish, especially the meatballs, which typically are dense and have no flavor, and I'm not sure chicken would be much different. Thinking I'll try seafood, or tofu, or maybe go with just noodles and broth.
The Chicken dish, a stir fry with vegetables was ok, but If I find must Vietnamese, and Thai, stir fries contain a sauce that is too sweet for my taste - one or two bites and it get old. The fried Spring and the dipping sauce was exceptional.
I like this place and look forward to trying additional dishes. This place was busy, and there was a lot of take out. The service is friendly and attentive, and the chopsticks are solid, not those wimpy, curved sticks you find in so many restaurants, and the pricing is more than reasonable considering the proportions - the only way things could get better, is if some else picked up the check.
The only real problem with this restaurant is the location, and more specifically, the parking, and lack thereof. The lot is small, the spaces are small, and when it is busy it is really difficult to find a spot - and the smallness and the awkward angles makes you painfully aware of the less than stellar driving habits of your fellow customers.
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