PHO#1 North Woburn
Just had to write up another rec for Pho #1 in North Woburn. This place has become a favorite lunch spot for me and a place we have cater quite a few company lunches too. (They also offer free delivery) Over the past year or more I have had the opportunity to try many of the dishes offered at Pho #1. Overall I have to give high marks to just about everything I have tried. They do a very good Pho of course and offer all the most typical variations. I really enjoy their version of Can Chua, a Vietnamese style sweet and sour soup that includes chunks of fresh tomato, pineapple, and mushrooms along with onions and various herbs. You can order it with chicken, shrimp or salmon too and recently they have started to offer it with rice noodles. I am also a big fan of their Thai style Beef Salad and their Larb Salad which can be ordered with either chicken or pork. Their mango curry is excellent and it too can be ordered with your choice of shrimp, fish or chicken. One of the appetisers I like is called Thit Lui. It is a Vietnamese version of satay but the chicken or beef has been marnited in a something that must have a lot of lemon grass and others herbs. They come two sticks to an order and they are delicious. They taste like they have been grilled over charcoal.
Pho #1IMHO is a real Chowhound type of place. Family owned and operated, nice people and wonderful authentic Thai and Vietnamese food at very reasonable prices. I would encourage anyone to give them a try.
I couldn't agree more, I frequent Pho#1 for lunch as well. For one reason or another I find myself favoring the Vietnamese side of the menu over the Thai (but I love Thai).
I think Pho #1 is one of the few things that has kept me from donning a clown suit and a sniper rifle through this interminable last (6 maybe 7) months of unbearable weather . A nice piping hot bowl of Pho keeps me in my happy place and sated the rest of the day as I hum Bing Crosby's "I'm In Heaven" (Think "Green Mile" for those to whom I have just seriously dated myself). It does tend to be very busy at noon so I try for 12:30- 1:00 and have never waited for a seat.
Next time I am feeling brave I think I will ask for some of those hot peppers they have marinating in the big glass jar on the counter where the register is.
I'll double second that recommendation. Their Larb is great - though a slightly acquired taste due to the fish sauce, but that makes it all the more althentic. Also their drunken noodles - the wide, flat chinese rice noodles - is also a very tasty rendition of this dish. So far everything I have had there has been excellent and I agree that the folks there are very nice and gracious.
Maybe I've been spoiled by my favorites in Lowell (Southeast Asian and Pho88) but we stopped last night to try Pho#1 and were disappointed. We started with two apps that set us on a bad note: crazy roll - crispy fresh summer roll with shredded lettuce, mint, rice vermicelli, seaweed and shrimp tempura, wrapped into a softened rice paper and fried until golden brown server with peanut sauce (much too thick). I tasted the seaweed mostly. Then we got thai clamari - lightly battered and fred with sweet and sour sauce (I liked the sauce and used it for my crazy roll but the batter was more like those nice big onion rings at the fair and the calamari was almost as big?). The one dish I loved was Drunken Noodles - stir fried flat rice noodle with chicken , red pepper, onion, carrot, bean sprout, bamboo shootand snow pea in a thai spicy basil sauce. Everthing was very fresh, nice crisp vegies, awesome flavors. Our last dish was disappointing - Mango fish which was catfish topped with onions, red pepper, carrot snopea, tomatoe and fresh mango chunk adn thae curry sauce (just kind of soggy and sweet).
I will add one note, I was anxious to try the vietnamese food and as you can see we ordered mostly thai so maybe we should give it another try and keep to vietnamese since thats how I compare it when I compare it my favorites in Lowell. Call me the Crazy Roll. :-)