Pho Dang in Winooski, VT: Great food
I've eaten at Pho Dang three times now, and it's been consistently good. If you're not familiar with Vietnamese cuisine, it's more accessible to Western palates than most Asian food. One of the most important components is varieties of Pho, a noodle soup. I got the Pho Tai Chin Nam, a simple soup of beef broth, noodles, rare beef slices, and well done beef flank. The bowl comes with a plate of bean sprouts, basil, and cilantro for the diner to stir in to taste. I'm allergic to shellfish, but my wife assures me that the Goi Cuon Tom Thit (spring rolls with shrimp, vegetables, and pork) were fresh and tasty. A friend who hadn't tried Vietnamese food before went with the Bun Ga Nuong, grilled chicken with noodle. Nothing fancy there, but certainly fresh and good.
The restaurant's on the main road between Winooski and Colchester; I don't know if they have a separate parking lot, but even on Friday night we had no problem finding a spot on the street just a few doors down. It's a hole in the wall place, only eight tables or so, and not a destination for ambience. One of the big selling points here is price: nothing on the menu is over $8.50. A bowl of pho as big as your head costs only $6.50, and even a relatively elaborate dish like Hu Tiu Mi (pork, shrimp, quail egg, and vegetable with two kinds of noodle) runs only $7.50. If you're looking for something fresh, fast, and cheap around Burlington, check it out.
Pho Dang Vietnamese Café
215 Main St, Winooski, VT 05404
Where is Winooski in relation to Williston? I'm there about once a week for work and usually hit Sakura Sushi or the Korean place (the name just went out of my head!). I'm a huge Pho and Bun fan and usually drive to Springfield, MA for my fix.
Edited to add: I mapped it and its not that far. Will report back after I've tried it. Thanks!
Update - Bruno and I had a very late lunch at Pho Dang today. It was definitely a place I'll go back to whenever I'm in the area. The fresh spring rolls were really good, the dipping sauce was just slightly on the sweet side for me, but I usually add the Spiracha chili to it anyway.
The pho with rare beef was really good; nice beefy broth and the usual generous portions I've found at Vietnamese pho houses. The only thing missing was the sliced chilies that I'm used to getting with my bean sprouts, lime, and basil.
Also, the bun with grilled pork and egg roll was tasty, but again slightly on the sweet side (the grilled pork). I actually ordered the grilled chicken and got the grilled pork instead. No biggie for me, but I just let the waitress know that it might be an issue for someone who can't/doesn't eat pork. She was very generous and removed both lemonades from our bill, even though I told her that I enjoyed the pork and it was no big deal, she insisted. Very sweet. I thought the egg roll was a little bit cigar like and not a really robust, fat, meat and vegie egg roll, but I really only have Vinh Chau (Springfield, MA) as my comparison, and their bun w/egg roll is a really big meaty egg roll.
The lemonades - delish! The iced coffees with condensed milk were so cloyingly sweet that I couldn't drink mine. I like it when I can control the amount of condensed milk.
So, overall, I really, really liked Pho Dang and will definitely eat there again and again. I'll have to try some other things on the menu, because there are quite a few things that sound fantastic and it was hard to narrow it down.
Thanks for the tip -- had lunch there for the first time today, and it was as good as all of the reviews. Another good Chowhound find!
Ever since the Sigon Cafe closed on Bank Street the Burlington area has needed some good Vietnamese food. Phi Doan probably helped some of the folks get started here, because she did so much to bring displaced Amer-Asians to Vermont...good for them and us. The food is authentic, tasty, quick, inexpensive, and worth waiting for. The place is very small. Support Pho Dang and it will be there for us.