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Feb 27, 2009 09:18 AM

Best PHO...east valley...chandler, mesa, gilbert

Going to Cyclo this weekend and have been there MANY times, but I'm looking for great, inexpensive pho for future visits.

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  1. My local favorite is Saigon Pho in Chandler and Dragonfly in Mesa. Saigon Pho is very inexpensive and quick.

    1. I'm really impressed with UnPhoGettable, in the new Mekong Plaza in Mesa. Pun-ny name aside, the broth is what I'm looking for -- clear and subtly beefy / spiced. All the expected protein options; brisket, offal. Very nice people running the place.

      4 Replies
      1. re: themis

        Second the recommendation of UnPhogettable. It's a good choice. I also like Pho Mesa just down the road.

        Dragonfly Vietnamese Kitchen
        1116 S Dobson Rd, Mesa, AZ 85202

        Pho Mesa
        502 S Dobson Rd Ste 3, Mesa, AZ 85202

        66 S Dobson Rd, Mesa, AZ

        Saigon Pho
        1381 N Alma School Rd # 3, Chandler, AZ

        1. re: silverbear

          I wasn't a big fan of Unphogettable when we went. I too thought the pho broth was light and the rice dishes bland. I know it's an unscientific personal evaluation but whenever an asian place serves your rice in a bowl form on your plate I've always walked away unimpressed. The thing is with pho is I think each person has their own preference of taste and how the broth should be. It's like eating marinara sauce. That being said I do agree the owners are some of the nicest i've met with exception to Justine (Cyclo).

          1. re: Da Beebz

            I agree that opinions are based on "unscientific personal evaluation" and everyone is entitled to their own preference. However, when I go to an ethnic restaurant, my expectation is their food should resemble what the people eat in that particular region. When it comes to Pho broth, the only restaurant that comes close is Pho 68. The Pho Broth at Unphogettable is oily, loaded with MSG, sugar and essentially tasteless. I noticed that all the Pho restaurants I went to in the valley add sugar in their broth. It's a little kitchen trick to "add" flavor. Chinese restaurants do this as well, I am starting to wonder if that is the trick to appease the Caucasian palate. The best bet to get my Pho fix is still a long drive to San Diego or Orange County as far as authenticity goes. If I want a bowl of soup that I can drown out the lack of taste with condiments, there are plenty of choices in this town.

        2. re: themis

          That's odd, the broth that I had at UnPhoGettable was extremely oily. The broth was also tasteless, not in a watery sense, but in a sort "lacks body" type of way.

        3. If you don't mind heading a bit west to Phoenix, I would suggest Maxim.

          3424 N 19th Ave
          (602) 234-2710

          8 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            I'm hooked on Pho Thanh on Camelback and 17th Ave. is pretty awesome. I go once or twice a week. It is clean, consistent, and inexpensive. I highly recommend it.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Da Vang on 19th Avenue between Indian and Camelback (West side) has really, really good pho also.

              1. re: JerryMe

                Yes!!! Agreed, but Da Vang is a long way from the east valley. Noodles Ranch at Scottsdale & Thomas has good pho and is closer.

                1. re: JerryMe

                  Totally, ipsedixit... Maxim has great pho, perfectly spiced, beefy broth. DaVang is bland and oily in comparison. I love Maxim's spring rolls too, DaVang can't hold a candle to them.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  Just adding Maxim to the map for future reference.

                  Maxim Restaurant
                  3424 N 19th Ave # 8, Phoenix, AZ

                  1. re: Rubee

                    Just a note on Maxim. Don't bother with the Chinese selections on the menu, go for the Vietnamese stuff, esp. the pho.

                    Get the pho bo with gan and sach (tripe and tendon) and if you want to throw caution to the wind ask for fatty broth, or nuoc beo.

                    1. re: Rubee

                      I tried to go to Maxim today (Sunday), but appears they are closed today,,no one answered when I called in. Does anyone know the hours of operation for Maxim?...thanks

                      1. re: mdietrich

                        I always go a bit after the lunch hour rush (say, around 1:15 or so). Never been on the weekends, however.

                  2. Khai Hoan in Tempe (Apache Blvd between McClintock and Rural). From what I understand, it is run by a the owner of Cyclo's sister. Inexpensive and delicious, not glamorous, but that's what makes the place charming and homey.