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Vietnamese (particularly Pho) in Ffld Cty

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lovesublime Mar 23, 2008 06:28 PM

Does anyone know where I can get Vietnamese food? Particularly Pho? Id prefer an actual Vietnamese restaurant as opposed to Asian (con)fusion. Thanks!

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  1. i
    Ima Foodie RE: lovesublime Mar 24, 2008 08:28 AM

    I have not tried it yet so not sure if it's any good, but there is a thai/Vietnamese (so perhaps a bit of (con)fusion) place called Pho Mekong on Post Road in Westport, across the street from where Toys R Us was. I'd love to know if it's any good so please do post back if you try it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Ima Foodie
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      RawTunaFan RE: Ima Foodie Apr 10, 2008 05:38 AM

      Hi Ima

      Just wanted to let you know been there, if anything , not a place where you can get real deal pho. I was walking on university place in Manhattan the other day and saw 4 vietnamese restaurants within 2 blocks !!! -- I wish some entreprenuer would realize that opening a great Vietnamese restaurant in Westchester/ FFD Cty would be like building a mint!

      1. re: RawTunaFan
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        Ima Foodie RE: RawTunaFan Apr 10, 2008 05:56 AM

        thanks - while it may not have been authentic pho, was it any good for what it was?

        1. re: Ima Foodie
          r
          RawTunaFan RE: Ima Foodie Apr 10, 2008 09:20 AM

          If your idea of good is more "fusion" style that tries to pass off as authentic under the guise of fusion, then its o.k. Its kinda like ordering sushi at a Chinese restaurant - -you know what to expect, for instance a spicy tuna roll mixed with sri chacha sauce, but not a real spicy tuna roll.

          The service was fast and friendly, but I distinctly remember the portions being very, very small.

          1. re: RawTunaFan
            WendyBinCT RE: RawTunaFan Aug 28, 2008 03:12 PM

            FWIW, I met a friend for lunch at Pho Mekong on Monday. She had one of the lunch specials, Pra-Raam Chicken (stir fried with spinach, cashews and peanut sauce). She got a smallish portion with a choice of house salad or soup. I ordered Pho Tai (delectable broth with rice noodles, cilantro and slivers of beef, but no tripe or tendon). I was served a HUGE bowlful -- I consumed as much as I could, and took home a quart container three-quarters full -- with a heap of fresh bean sprouts, a generous sprig of Thai basil, and sriracha sauce. The difference in portion size is undoubtedly because I ordered from the regular menu -- pho was not offered as a lunch special. Pra-Raam Chicken on the regular menu costs $4 more, and would probably be a larger serving. Since this was my first pho experience, I can hardly vouch for its authenticity, but my soup and my friend's meal were both delicious, and we plan to return.

        2. re: RawTunaFan
          adamclyde RE: RawTunaFan Apr 10, 2008 06:57 AM

          wonderful will be the day I can get a good banh mi sandwich in FF county...

          does pho mekong do banh mi? I'm guessing not, as most pho places don't seem to do banh mi... but curious...

      2. m
        mangiamarco RE: lovesublime Apr 9, 2008 08:16 AM

        If your willing to go a bit north, check out Pot Au Pho in New Haven. Best I have found in CT...

        1. d
          drepp RE: lovesublime Apr 9, 2008 08:45 AM

          There is a place on wood ave off of park ave in Bridgeport. I think it's called pho saigon. it's run by a vietnamese family, they also have good viet style coffee. down the street is a great asian store where you can get all the stuff to make your own pho. the best vietnamese food is in Boston

          2 Replies
          1. re: drepp
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            drepp RE: drepp Apr 9, 2008 09:38 PM

            update , i went today to pho saigan had crispy spring rolls ,great! now to the pho . pretty good! you get all the extras thai basil ,mung beans, and an herb that tastes like chaiote. good broth with all the chili condements available.
            if you get the #1 remember it does have tripe. i gotta say they have the broth down.

            1. re: drepp
              j
              jdhall1 RE: drepp Apr 10, 2008 07:02 PM

              There is Pho Vietnam on Route 37 in Danbury. Great customer service and large portions.

          2. p
            ponzu RE: lovesublime Aug 30, 2008 01:55 PM

            If you're willing to drive to West Hartford, you have to try Pho Boston. We drive about 40 minutes there for pho and spring rolls it's well worth it. There is a huge asian supermarket called A Dong next door too.

            Pho Mekong and Pot au Pho are OK and we'll have to try the place in Bridgeport (thanks).

            The website is http://www.phoboston.com/

            7 Replies
            1. re: ponzu
              cardiak RE: ponzu Jul 17, 2009 11:35 AM

              I've been to Pho Saigon (the place in Bridgeport) several times, and I just went to Pho Mekong in Westport for the first time today.

              Each has their pros and cons in my opinion.

              It's important to be up front that Pho Mekong is more convenient to me; since I usually go to these places for lunch at work with colleagues, and Mekong is about a 10min drive while Saigon is about 25.

              Pho Saigon's food is excellent, and that's the most important thing in my opinion; but in all other ways the place is lacking. It's not in the best neighborhood in Bridgeport, it's a little hole in the wall with no decor, (plastic lawn furniture and fuzz-backed vinyl tablecloths) it's been hot and stuffy in there every time I've gone, and if you're a gringo, there is definite potential for communication problems if you do anything other than point at something on the menu and smile while you attempt to say "pho" without the "o" sound.

              One of my friends had some questions about some menu items, and while the people there are very nice, getting an answer wasn't really happening. And while there is tea on the table, they've never brought us water, and I've never been asked for a drink order ever while I've been there.

              BUT, I say again, the food is great. And sometimes being in grandma's kitchen is exactly where you want to be. I've eaten there several times, and will definitely go back.

              Now, Pho Mekong is a much more mainstream place, with traditional booths, tables, nice decor, friendly service, etc. And while I've only been once, the Pho was very good; at least for a Pho newbie like me.

              That said; it's not a true Vietnamese place. They started as a Thai place and still have at least half of their menu dedicated to what you'd normally find on a typical Thai restaurant menu. (Drunken Noodles, Pad Thai, Curries, etc.)

              The Pho was on the back of the menu; and they had several variations of beef as well as a chicken version.

              I got the Pho Mekong "Special" which is the closest to the traditional Pho I got at Pho Saigon; with the full monty of slow-simmered brisket, which was really tender and a testiment to how long it had been simmering, rare beef thrown in at the last second, which was also very tasty, those wonderful beef balls, which tasted almost identical to the ones at Pho Saigon, as well as tendon and tripe. (I'm still not fully on board with the tendon and tripe, it's a major texture challenge for me. I ate about half the tripe and a little bit of the tendon)

              The broth was a little less clear than Pho Saigon's, and the flavor was quite good, but just not quite at the same level.

              I didn't ask for anything special at either place, and Pho Saigon provided much more in the way of condiments and add-ins.

              Pho Mekong had sprouts, Thai Basil, Chiles, and Lime, along with Hoisin (bottled) and an assortment of hot sauces. (some homemade as well as the usual bottled Sriracha)

              Pho Saigon included all of the above in larger quantities, as well as fresh mint, coriander leaves, lemongrass, at least one other herb that I was too dumb to identify by sight or taste, and many hot sauces and condiments, some bottled, and some homemade.

              All told, I would say that Pho Mekong's food rating was quite good, about 80% as good as Pho Saigon.

              Pho Saigon is still the place I'd go on a dreary cold rainy day where I have a Walken-esque fever, and the only prescription is Pho.

              But I will probably end up going to Pho Mekong more now, just because it's closer, nicer, and definitely more acceptable to people who aren't as adventurous as to brave a sketchy neighborhood for a hole in the wall.

              1. re: cardiak
                adamclyde RE: cardiak Jul 17, 2009 04:25 PM

                an excellent side-by-side review. Much appreciated. Thank you!

                1. re: adamclyde
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                  Scotty100 RE: adamclyde Jul 17, 2009 05:22 PM

                  Agree - nice review cardiak. I am also a pho freak and like aclyde long for the day where the cuisine gains traction in FFD county (although to be honest it ain't that great in manhattan either so what chance do we have here? Better move to LA I think...). I have tried both Pho Mekong in Westchester and Pot au Pho in New Haven hoping for a little vietnamese gem somewhere in the suburbs. Pot au Pho was more authentic and more flavorful. Pho Mekong did the job one tuesday night but was skimpy on the beef in my pho order and as cardiak pointed out seemed unsure of itself in terms of what it really was...thai or viet? In the end I was "meh"...but I will definitely check out pho saigon. Thanks for the tip.

                2. re: cardiak
                  Syphrite RE: cardiak Aug 28, 2009 08:23 AM

                  I went to Pho Saigon and was not impressed. It was ok, but not something I would pine after at all. It had that grungy, hole in the wall kind of atmosphere, but not in a good way IMO. I've had much better pho at many places in the city and (I know I'll be punished for this) I don't like tripe or Vietnamese meatballs and was a bit put off when I asked for the pho without and they added it in anyway. I don't mind if the broth is made with these things, but I don't want to see it in my soup. Also, it was quite dirty in Pho Saigon. I went out of my way to check it out once, and once was enough for me.

                  I'm still searching for something nearby and will be taking a trip to Danbury today to try the Pho place there that I've seen others talking about on this board. Will report back! :)

                  1. re: Syphrite
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                    BlueSoup RE: Syphrite Aug 28, 2009 08:40 AM

                    Hole in the wall and dirty are the terms i would use to describe Pho Vietnam in Danbury. I still eat there because i have no other local choice, but if these things really bother you, be prepared. I would recommend you NOT use the restroom if dirty bothers you.

                    1. re: BlueSoup
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                      justduckie82 RE: BlueSoup Sep 13, 2009 12:44 PM

                      I agree about the it being dirty but the food is good.

                  2. re: cardiak
                    l
                    lovesublime RE: cardiak Sep 14, 2009 12:09 PM

                    THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH! I found pho mekong and did enjoy their pho, and didnt even know about the one in b'port. I fear no hole-in-the-wall! I hear ya on the Walken-esque fever, totally. I really cant dig the tendon. Tripe was good, tendon..I dont really see the point in eating it.

                    Oh man...what I would give for a banh mi place in ffld cty...even a mediocre one.

                3. s
                  SeoulQueen RE: lovesublime Sep 13, 2009 08:06 PM

                  For those lucky enough to live near Farmington/West Hartford, I would recommend Pho Boston. It's the most authentic I have had in this area and whenever I had gone, the pho has always been very good. The only downside is the place is packed (mostly Asians so another good sign) which results in poor service - they don't seem to have a system in place so all the waiters run around trying to do everything but of course nothing gets done.

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