Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Restaurant Review: Pho Viet Nam

I don't have the spelling quite right on this one.  The 'o' in Pho stays mainly in the snow is a lower case oh with a tiny question mark hovering over it and what appears to be a small accent mark to the right.  I can't find the letter anywhere, and I'm probably not pronouncing it right anyway.

Pho' Viet Nam
3636 Upton Ave.; Toledo, OH 43613
Open 7 Days a Week
10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
(419) 720-2952

This place is a real diamond in the rough, and once word spreads you'll have to wait in line to get in.  As it is, the crowd is still a little sparse during lunch.  Keep reading to get the low down news on Pho.

Since everyone (me included) had a rough weekend, I, in my infinite wisdom, decided that a few of us needed cheering up.  I invited Chatelaine and Mom to lunch and got the expected response to the mandatory 'where would you like to go?' question.

"Oh, I'm easy to please.  Just anywhere."
"Yes, anything is fine with me."
"I think you ought to pick, Jack."
"That's right.  You pick the place."

As I say, anticipated.  So I already had a place in mind that I'd never been to and with a culinary genre that I was singularly unfamiliar with.  I just love it when a plan comes together! 

The best news about Pho Viet Nam is that the food is absolutely exceptional.  My problem is that what I know about Vietnamese food wouldn't crowd the head of a pin, a condition I intend to start rectifying at Pho.  I can't even pronounce the dishes we ordered, nor did I think to take a photo of each dish.  All I can say is that everyone was very happy with their order, and when you can please everyone, that is truly an accomplishment.

My Lunch
This is some kind of shrimp, pork, vegetable and rice noodle dish.  It was delicious but I have no idea just what it's called.  I have to print this photo out and take it with me whenever I want to order this one again.

The proprietress of Pho is an older Asian lady whose command of the English language is somewhat lacking.  I think she understands me better than I understand her, which is good.  The menu is written in Vietnamese, but it includes tiny little photos of a few dishes.  I just picked one that looked interesting and ordered it by pointing.  Mom asked the proprietress for some help ordering, and after a garbled conversation Mom got a large bowl of some sort of soup with rice noodles and chicken.  Mom loved it.  I think Chatelaine used phrenology or enoptromancy or something, but she also said her lunch was delicious.  Mom tried using chop sticks with limited success.  I gave up on chopsticks years ago; I don't have the coordination for it.  I also tried to get the owner to teach me how to say the name of my lunch in Vietnamese, but she wasn't having much of it.  I think she's given up, and likely feels the same way about teaching the language to Americans that I feel about eating lunch with chop sticks.  It's fun for a while, but I'm hungry.

This is one of those restaurants that are a sort of unknown five star hole in the wall.  It's spartan inside, but it's so clean and neat you could eat off the counter.  There are a few interesting photos on the wall - here's one I took a picture of.

I like this place and I'll be back for lunch again.  I may take Pastor Skypilot with me, but then word will leak out and other people will start patronizing the place.

This is one of those rare places that's worth making a special trip for.  It's relatively new to the area, and I sure hope they make it.  If word gets out about the quality of the food, there'll be a line out the door.

  • Ambiance: 7
  • Service: 7
  • Food: 9

Overall Rating: 8

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