Pho Nguyen: open again?
- bopuc Jan 6, 2009 01:21 PM
Anyone now if Pho Nguyen on St-Mathieu reopened yet? They were closed over the holidays apparently for renovation/thorough cleaning.
I'm wanting their grilled chicken pho (pho ga nuong)! :)
St-Mathieu corner of de Maisonneuve. across dM from the metro station, white and blue sign, semi-basement. Looks totally sketchy. ;)
A malaysian friend considers theirs the best Bun Bo Hue in town, but it may be just because it is blisteringly spicy.
I think they are open everyday yes. As opposed to almost every other viet place outside of Chinatown, I've never gone by there and seen it closed (except over the holidays just now, which is why I posted earlier today.)
Their pho broth is nice and light the way I like it, too.....and they close at 11 p.m. as opposed to 10 like most other Pho places..yay!
I tried it for lunch today and was not that impressed.
• spring roll had brown lettuce in it
• pho broth had too much msg and was extremely salty
• bean sprouts didn't look very fresh
• I wasn't offered tea
With the amout of turnover they obviously have you'd think they could offer some fresher ingredients.
I would agree the broth is very good, and indeed, the bun bo hue Is surprisingly spicy. The regular non-spicy pho broth is not quite as rich and complex as the one at Pho Lien, but it is still tasty, and at $6.00 for a small bowl, a good price for downtown lunch. Today's broth was not too salty. I liked the selection of meat in the soup I had, rare beef, tendon, beef balls, tripe, good flavour. But I was disappointed by the lack of fresh green herbs, they were a little skimpy on the coriander. The basil was a bit old, starting to dry out, and some of the sprouts were a bit slimy. The lime was also dried out. I was also sad to see that the spring roll also lacked fresh herbs, especially mint.
This is a good place to go, but I think I prefer Chez Nga's pho more. Pho is a seemingly simple dish, and quality of herbs and sprouts is really important, as they are so prominent in the flavouring of the dish. I'd like to see them improve the quality of the accompaniments.
Please don't go to Pho Nguyen expecting to find the meaning of life in a bowl of soup. It's tasty, affordable, and unpretentious, that's all. I go about there once a week for a quick supper, almost always have the small # 2 and 2 imperial rolls, or sometimes the vermicelli bowl with grilled chicken. Listen people - it's good, simple, cheap and tasty. OK, sometimes the bean sprouts are a little less than garden-fresh... what do you want for $6.50? Heaven on earth?
Although that vermicelli bowl: combination of their grilled chicken, chopped peanuts, and mysterious runny yellow sauce is pretty close to it! :-)