Last week hubby had to drive down to the S.E. to run some errands. He asked if I wanted to go, and then afterwards we can go grab some Vietnamese food nearby. Sure why not – I think it’s time to try other Vietnamese restaurants. If you’ve been on 17th Ave S.E. you know there is an abundance of Vietnamese restaurants around. My friend J lives in the area and says she’s been to every single one but since she’s not a foodie, she couldn’t really say which one was better than another. So I went to my trusty Urbanspoon app and decided on Pho Dau Bo, which is situated in the Little Saigon Mall. We entered into a very clean restaurant that was relatively empty at 11:15am, but soon groups of people started coming in. Glancing at their menu – now, for some reason I assumed that Vietnamese food would be cheaper in this area. I don’t know why I thought that, but I will have to say prices are higher than what I’m used to, especially when comparing to one of my favorite places for pho, Pho Thanh. But hey, if the food is good, and everyone else seems to say it is, then I’ll pay the price!
Here’s what we tried today:
Pho Dac Biet (L) – $9.00
My staple when trying out at a new Vietnamese restaurant. I saw other patrons eating the regular size and thought it was too small for me, so I went with the L but it wasn’t huge by any means. It’s funny to say this, but there was more meat than noodles in here and I actually wanted more noodles! I really liked the broth – it was light and clean tasting and you can tell there’s little to no msg in there. The noodles were cooked well – it wasn’t clumped all together and it was easy to separate the strands. There was a good variety of different cuts of meats and they were of good quality. Not fatty or grisly. This was a good bowl of pho.
Special Bun (Vermicelli) with Pork Sausage Meatballs and Spring Rolls – $10.50
I got this for my son because it would be the easiest for me to feed him (no hot soup, don’t need to cool!). He also likes spring rolls but there’s many other combinations available for everyone’s preference. This was as good as fish sauce on vermicelli would taste, but he ate a lot of it! The meatballs looked homemade – I like how it didn’t have that crazy fluorescent pink hue that you may find with some of the store bought ones.
Grilled Pork Chop, Shredded Pork, Fried Egg and Vietnamese Style Quiche on Rice – $11.50
This was hubby’s order. I have to say the portion was on the small side – he wasn’t full after eating this (though it could be because we were starving and this was our first meal at 11:30am) so he ate some of our son’s vermicelli. He said everything was good.
Avocado Shake – $3.95
Hubby loves his avocado shake and this was very well made. One sure thing about ordering avocado drinks is that it has to be made with the real fruit since there’s no powder avocado (I don’t think there is anyway). This was very creamy, not too thick and has great avocado flavors. Unfortunately for hubby our son loves shakes a lot too so he snatched it about half way and never gave it back. Lol. I told hubby next time that he should order two!
Service was decent – it’s like other Vietnamese restaurants where you just order and the server drops food off your table, but it was done pleasantly. I was so busy tending to our son that I totally forgot we were supposed to fill out our order sheet, but our server came by and filled it out for us. Also, she saw that we have a toddler so she brought out a pair of scissors (even though I usually bring my own) to cut his food with, which is definitely the first time I’ve experienced such service when eating out. Food came out after 15-20 minutes so it’s not as fast as some of the other Vietnamese restaurants – so don’t go starving like we did! I am glad that we gave this place a try and I’m looking forward to trying out the other surrounding Vietnamese restaurants.