Pho Pasteur Decline?
My recents visits to Pho Pasteur (in Harvard Sq.) have left me less than satisified. I used to enjoy dining there (usually the H. Sq. location, sometimes the Chinatown one). On my visits, the soup was somewhat bland, the tofu in the tofu with ginger and onions didn't seem fresh, and the peanut sauce for the fresh vegetarian spring rolls was almost watery. (Even the sparkling limeade didn't, well, sparkle.) I'm wondering if anyone else who likes/liked Pho Pasteur has noticed a drop in quality.
-- CP ("Is it cold in here or is it just me?")
"Wow, I feel a chill at the back of my neck too!"
I was a long time Pho Pasteur fan,(I mean, when they were just a fish market/rest.!!) esp. the Allston, and I feel, most authentic branch. I stopped going a year or so ago, unless I was with a less-than-chowish friends whose choice it was, because I felt it was becoming "pasteurized", and not in a good way...The big bowls of soup were becoming smaller, the big plate of fresh tasting goi tom had become little, limp, and less than fresh...But the thing that pushed me over the edge was that my favorite, canh ca, fish in clay pot, instead of being the dense and intriguing mix of extremely ethnic flavors it used to be, had become a lackluster bowl of salmon chunks in broth, barely a nod to Vietnamese home cooking...
It's convenient, and nice to have a Vietnamese rest. w/ a liquor license, but it's not what it was...And aside for the liquor license, I see nothing to make up for the lack.
I don't have the whole story--maybe someone else does-- but...the original founders of Pho Pasteur included a married couple, Joseph Nguyen and don't know wife's name (not sure if others were involved). About five years ago they split, J. set up shop in Colorado. About a year ago he came back, sold his share in Pasteur (not sure exactly when he sold), remarried and opened Pho 2000 in Dorchester (223 Adams St. near Fields Corner). He's the cook there now and the food is good. Perhaps he's the secret ingredient missing at Pasteur these days.