Opening Soon - Pho Saigon Catonsville?
While visiting Wong Gal Bi, the Korean BBQ restaurant on Rolling Road in Catonsville (it was great!) I spotted Pho Saigon across the street ( I think it is called Rolling Road Plaza?) with a sign that says "Opening Soon". Does anyone know anything about this place or when it might be opening up?
It's now open. Pho Saigon, 1116 N Rolling Rd., Catonsville, MD 21228. Phone: (410) 744-2740. Heading west on Rt. 40, turn right on Rolling Rd. at the Double T Diner. It's in the next shopping plaza on the left.
I went there a few weeks ago for lunch on a Saturday. It is good. I had rice noodles with grilled pork (bun thit nuong?) and a summer roll. My dining partner had grilled pork chop with rice. Did not try the pho. Video of a Vietnamese musical variety show was playing. Service was very friendly and a woman I assumed to be the owner came over to make sure all was OK. She said they had only been open a litle over a week. I'm not sure it beats out my Vietnamese area faves like An Loi in Columbia, but I will definitely go back to try other dishes. I'd be interested in hearing reviews from others.....
Our visit was good. Summer rolls were good. Rice with chargrilled shrimp also good. Avocado smoothie was lacking a little something. They do not have salted lemon or plum sodas. Some items are only available on weekends. Others items have already been crossed off the menu! Also, there is a language barrier. The husband/wife team are very polite and make every effort to communicate, but Mekong Delta has spoiled us. For example, even though the menu reads "Durian" as one of the smoothie varieties, we had to explain to them what durian was. (They no longer offer durian.)
I went there for a late lunch on Tuesday, and it was pretty good. The pho broth was nicely savory, a large bowl was indeed a large bowl, and the herbs in the summer (spring?) rolls were really flavorful, even if the shrimp flavor didn't come through all that well. I thought the dipping sauce was good if perhaps almost a little too peanut-buttery.
Overall? The pho was better than Pho #1, about on par with Pho Nam, and the summer rolls were better. I didn't try any of their drinks. It's about the same distance for me to here or Pho Nam, so I'll probably come here a few more times to see if it's consistently good.
Yet again, daveinmd and I concur on pho. Tried it this weekend after a sojourn to pick strawberries. Pho Saigon was indeed tasty - nice flavor and complexity to the broth. HUGE plate of herbs (with both culantro and basil). The summer rolls were good but my "shrimp and pork" summer roll had no (discernable) pork in it.
Quality was on par with Pho Nam, but the service was nicer. After getting used to paying $9 for a small bowl of pho at M-D in the city, I have a new appreciation for $5.95 bowls of pho (regular size, by no means small) which include everything. Interesting to find a tiny bit of language barrier - the waiter who took our order was very heavily accented though the other lady working the tables (his wife?) had fine English. The menu, however, is a little confusing, as phos #3, 4, and 5 on the menu all had the exact same English translation of the combination of meats. I'm also curious to try #1, which is the "Special Northern Vietnamese pho" which the waiter described in his tough to understand English as one big block of beef in the soup (I'm sure something got lost in translation). Not sure if the broth itself is different. A quick google search of "Northern Vietnamese style pho" seems to indicate it is often served with just a few cuts of beef, no herb condiments, and has sliced ginger across the top.
I'll have to go back!
Glad you enjoyed it, bluepig1! Kelly and I went back for a second visit about a week ago, it was just as good. Since it's about the same distance/a little closer than Pho Nam, it's going to enter our regular rotation, assuming that quality keeps up.
The older lady owner/hostess dissuaded me from the "Special Northern Vietnamese Pho", which she said that I wouldn't like. Having had pho in Hanoi and northern vietnam, I can vouch that the broth is much lighter in flavor and simpler than the southern version of pho, without the complexity and depth of flavor. The dish is also without the plethora of cuts of meats (which, BTW, seems to be unique to pho in America). Still tasty, though, and I'm sure that I'll try it at pho saigon at some point in the future.