During class this week, I suddenly got a jonesing for some tofu, and nobody does tofu better than the Vietnamese. After class ended I headed straight to Pho Saigon, which is right off Poplar close to the Benjamin Hooks Library. I have never been here before, but I have heard great things about the place. Therefore, it’s definitely worth a shot.
I got there around 9pm, and I was the only person in the restaurant. I take that back. It was me, plus the entire family who owns the restaurant: moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and counsins. They were all there, but I was the only customer. Yet, how can I expect other people to be eating Vietnamese at 9pm on a Monday night? The nice man led me a table, away from the rest of the family.
I look at the menu, which looks pretty standard for a Vietnamese place. I first off order some shrimp spring rolls, one of my favorite Vietnamese foodie items. They come to the table with a peanut dipping sauce, and they are huge!
For my entree, I almost opt for the lemongrass tofu, just to see how it compares to Pho Hoa Binh’s.
However, I have been told that the noodle bowls are great, so I opted for the tofu noodle bowl instead.
The noodle bowl comes to the table, and it is just a large of a portion as the spring rolls. Both of these are way too much food for one person.
After trying both of the items, I have to say that I do not see why this place has such great reviews. The spring rolls were very bland. Though they seem huge, each consisted of one piece of shrimp, surrounded by lettuce and a couple bean sprouts. They were very bland. I might as well have just been eating plain lettuce. The rice paper was also so chewy that I was barely able to break off bites. They seemed very undercooked.
The noodle bowl was nothing else to brag about. First, there was no seasoning or sauce on it. It was like eating pasta without sauce or a salad without dressing. It was a mix of tofu, carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts, and noodles. With nothing else.
Second, it was cold. Maybe I am wrong here to assume that noodle bowls are supposed to be hot, but either way, I DO KNOW that tofu is never supposed to be served cold. I am the only person in the restaurant, so why is my food coming out stone cold? Basically it was a cold bowl of noodles, with a few extra additions every now and then.
I end up picking the tofu out of the noodle bowl and dipping it in the peanut sauce to eat it. After I ate the tofu, I go up to the counter to pay and get a take out box for the rest of my noodle bowl. I ended up using the leftovers to make my own chicken stir-fry noodle bowl at home a few days later.
Overall, the portions are large, so price is not an issue. However, that does not make the food taste good. I suggest driving the extra three miles and going to Pho Hoa Binh instead.
You can also check out their Google Map page.