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Feb 9, 2008 08:36 AM

Pho in Columbia, SC

Just a heads-up for pho lovers (and the pho curious) in central SC. The former Zesto location on Decker Blvd. will open soon as Pho Viet. I've been told this will be the owner's third restaurant as he currently owns two others in CA, which relatives will continue to operate.

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  1. Do you think they might also have Bun Cha, complete with crispy little spring rolls? YUM! I'd heard about the coming Vietnamese place and can't wait for a bowl of spicy fragrant pho, with maybe a green bubble tea to go!

    1 Reply
    1. re: rmskipper

      >Do you think they might also have Bun Cha...?

      I don't know. I sure hope so. If I get there before you do I'll post back.

    2. Yes, please let us know when this place opens. I am dying for some pho!

      7 Replies
      1. re: atruebluedevil

        As of Friday night it was not open. I'm usually out that way weekly. I'll post back as soon as I know something.

        1. re: Cpt Wafer

          We drove by on our way out of town on Saturday and it appeared to be open. Has anyone been? If so, let us know how it was!

          1. re: atruebluedevil

            It's about time. Greenville has at least three Vietnamese restaurants, two of which are excellent.

            Is the Korean Obok's on the Northeast side of town still open. I really loved their "dumpling" soup and of course all the veggies.

            1. re: warthawgs

              Well, there's been at least one Vietnamese restaurant in town for twenty +/- years. They just don't make pho. Yes, Obok is still alive and well.

            2. re: atruebluedevil

              blue devil

              I just called (699.5959) and yes they are open. But they are closed on Mondays. I'll try and get by this week but my better half is under the weather and it may not be possible until next week. If you go please post back.

              1. re: Cpt Wafer

                Hey Cpt, I hate to say it, but I have still not been. I really want to try it and will try to head over this week. I did notice that the new food reviewer in the Free Times liked it - she went for lunch and then back for dinner the same day. That sounds like my kind of pho place. Anyone been?

                1. re: Cpt Wafer

                  I have been there twice and can't wait to go back again. I had never tried pho before that, so I can't tell you how it compares to other pho places, but I loved it. So far I haven't tried anything else on the menu, just the pho. I found the meatballs a bit boring but the beef slices were great and the noodles were lovely. And of course the broth was wonderful. I just love the broth.

          2. Another great restaurant for pho/Vietnamese and Thai food is Golden Chopstix in West Columbia. All of their soups including pho are great and you get so much I always take some home. They also have a ton of meat, seafood, rice and noodle dishes. I think they have a big sushi menu too. The Vietnamese lady who owns it with her husband is the server and is very nice. What impressed me the most is the very loyal customer base they have - each time I go I watch and the owner seems to know most people by name. A lot of their business is repeat customers. This place is one of those neat little "food finds" and I'd highly recommend. The restaurant is at 1505 Charleston Hwy. (located in a plaza near the Kmart and Maurices).

            4 Replies
            1. re: tom82

              Pho Viet rocks! Excellent pho and they even have my favorite hard to get durian milkshake and pearl drinks. My date had the beef roll pho which I had not seen before and I got BBQ shrimp and pork done bun cha style. That's my only beef (har har!) with Golden Chopstix is they do not grill their beef but make it like a stew or something which just ain't right for a bun cha addict.

              1. re: artrue

                Wife and I tried Pho Viet the other night. We had the fresh (not fried) spring rolls, pho, and bun with chicken. As artrue notes above, one mark of good bun is that the meat is grilled/charred. This is why the bun at Golden Chopstix is only okay. They do grill and marinate the bun meat at Pho Viet, which improves the experience, but nonetheless I thought the bun was about average in taste and presentation. It seemed to lack the delicate sense I associate with this dish -- perhaps it was the chicken, cut into large chunks, or the vegetables, cut but not finely julienned, which detracted from the dish. The pho was good. Try it and make sure to throw in some of the red and brown sauces to it, along with the lime, jalapeno, basil, and sprouts that accompany it, for the full, complex, array of scents and flavors. The fresh spring rolls were bland and boring. Not enough cilantro or other seasoning. The soursop smoothie was good. Maybe next time I'll try the durian.
                Overall, the menu is rather limited (pho, bun, rice dishes corresponding to the bun options, and a couple of vegetable and seafood dishes, and appetizers). The furnishings are unattractive and remind me of a fast-food chain restaurant. Service was friendly and adequate, but there were only three tables in play at the time.
                I can see myself returning for some pho or pho ga when the weather turns cooler, but I don't think there is enough to pull me back in the meanwhile.

                1. re: north2south

                  I went to Pho Viet on Friday for lunch with a co-worker. I'm used to the Vietnamese restaurants where I grew up and in NYC which were all quite good. I was unable to find a place here in Columbia that had the same standards and quality of food. I had Bun Cha Gio (Egg Roll Salad) - which isn't on their menu. I selected the Bun that had the pork and eggrolls in it and asked them not to add the pork. With a side of their fish sauce to add to it, it was a most excellent meal. Their Gio Cuon is EXCELLENT - and the peanut sauce they serve with it is some of the best I've had.

                  As far as the limited menu, I'd rather go to a restaurant with a more limited menu because it allows the restaurant to make your dish perfect and the ingredients as fresh as possible (and we all know when it comes to vietnamese food, fresh is best). I will DEFINITELY go back to this restaurant.

                  1. re: Scudder

                    u guys are missing out then to get great vietnamese u gotta go to charlotte or atlanta but pho viet does do it when i have a craving for pho... try lang van in charlotte off of shamrock @ the intersection of eastway.... phenomenal.