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New Vietnamese "Pho and Beyond" on Easton Road Willow Grove

g
gwebber Dec 7, 2009 04:59 AM

Very excited to try the new Vietnamese offering on Easton Road tonight. Today is their grand opening - there is a 20% off coupon on their website (http://www.phoandbeyond.net/). This area is in huge need of a halfway decent restaurant. There is another Vietnamese place on Moreland Road whose name escapes me. I was there once, probably won't go back. Service was *awful*, prices were highish and food was just ok.

I stopped by Pho and Beyond on Saturday; the door was open and it looked like they were having an event of some kind. The nice people inside let me in anyway to look around. Nice decor, nothing too fancy but not cheesy either. The menu looks tantalizingly big, and the food they were serving looked good. If this place is any good, I may become a regular :

)

Will report back...

  1. h
    hungry100 Dec 7, 2009 11:18 AM

    That's great news. Please report back.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hungry100
      w
      wmtairyite Dec 7, 2009 03:17 PM

      is it in one of the shopping centers or free standing? I love Vietnamese so I'll definitely check it out.

      1. re: wmtairyite
        g
        gwebber Dec 7, 2009 05:39 PM

        it's in one of the strip mall thingys, right next to weinrich's bakery on easton.

    2. g
      gwebber Dec 7, 2009 03:31 PM

      Just got back from an early dinner there. I will definitely be back! I thought the food was really terrific. I usually get my Vietnamese food fix from a few places - Pho Cali and Vietnam in Chinatown, or in the plaza on 11th and Washington (I think it's called Pho Hoa). Living as I do in Glenside, this means not having Vietnamese food very often :)

      The menu at Pho and Beyond isn't huge, but it hits all the highlights. No banh mi though (bummer). They do have pho (beef and chicken only) as well as your standard yellow curry and sauteed basil dishes.

      Service was very good - they did seem a little disorganized but then again it was their very first night. The servers were pleasant, the owners came around to ask everyone how they were doing, but nobody was overly talky or intrusive in any way.

      The hubby and I split an order of Grilled Pork Patty Rolls, which were summer rolls filled with a mild flavored sausagelike pork patty, what appeared to be julienned fried spring roll skin, rice noodles, cucumbers, mint and lettuce. I found them to be tasty if a tad on the bland side, but large and well rolled (I hate when summer rolls fall apart on you).

      I ordered the Eye Round and Flank Steak pho, which was awesome. The pho broth was very flavorful, probably the best I've had. The noodles were a bit gloppy - like they had been precooked and not oiled. A bit of mixing around in the hot broth solved that problem. The garnishes included culantro, which I've read about but never seen., as well as the standard bean sprouts, basil and jalapenos.

      The hubby had the House Special Vermicelli - his noodles had the same problem as mine did, plus they were cold - but he mixed some hoisin into them and was happy. The noodles were served with char grilled pork and chicken, egg rolls, mint, cucumber and lettuce, and topped with crispy fried shallots. They didn't hold back on the mint, either. The veggies were chopped and dressed in something - lime juice? - and the minty fresh counterpoint was just what the smoky pork and chicken needed.

      For dessert I had the fruit tart and he had the flan. Both were very good, but the fruit tart was *outstanding*. The owner said his wife made them, and I believe him. The tart shell was perfect - buttery, rich and crumbly - and the filling was some kind of creamy concoction; the hubby thought it resembled cannolii filling but I wasn't sure. It wasn't pastry cream either, but it was very good. The fruit was very fresh - strawberries, kiwi and raspberries.

      A shared app, two entrees, coffee and two desserts came to just under $40 + tip; this is without the coupon, which I cleverly forgot to bring.

      Overall, a great new addition to an area of the city with a sorry array of chowworthy dinner choices :)

      6 Replies
      1. re: gwebber
        s
        seagulls1 Dec 8, 2009 05:59 PM

        This is great news. we live in Glenside also and my son works at the Giant. Nearly everyday we drive by and have been so frustrated in our waiting .
        Thank you for a really good and extremely timely review. We will go tomorrow.

        FYI- There are 2 PHO spots on Adams ave just before you get to the Blvd. Pho Hoa and PHO 75. We have been going there for 15 years. We go to Pho Hoa when we want some variety, we go to PHO 75 for the very best broth and noodles. It is only 15 minutes straight out Cheltenham ave. It is a shame you have been shlepping downtown all this time.

        1. re: seagulls1
          oliviasaru Dec 9, 2009 01:44 PM

          Yes for Adams Avenue, especially if you want to poke around the fascinating People's Food Market just down the street from Pho Hoa and Pho 75. I'm also really partial to Viet Kitchen's banh mi.

          I'm very excited to try Pho & Beyond!

          1. re: seagulls1
            s
            seagulls1 Dec 9, 2009 04:04 PM

            OMG!! We just had the BEST PHO and BEST asian food experience ever. The place is #1 Clean, very well decorated and perfectly lighted. Really nice tableware place settings were very nice..The staff was very nice, attentive and (wait for it) they smiled !!, were happy to see and serve us! and (believe it or not) were perfectly chatty, WOW !!

            We had the papaya salad with shrimp, like a summer kim chi, sweet tart light and crunchy. My son and I ordered #22 pho $8.95 with tendon, steak, flank and meatballs. My daughter had #18 with just brisket, $7.95. The Broth was very good, within a hair of being as good as 75 on Adams (my Fav) the meats were all very good, My daughter said the only reason they didn't get 5 stars, the quantity of meat was a little light and I agree, but we still left stuffed, so its really not a complaint.

            We had the Green Tea ice cream, it too was perfect, a big serving, light, creamy almost fluffy, no ice crystals. I HAD to share the Fruit Tart, which was the last one available. I apologized to the couple at the next table. lol- -It was THAT good I would go there just for it. Delicious cream cheese(?) filling on a delicious shortbread shell with fresh kiwi, strawberry and blackberries. +/-$4.95 A huge bargain.

            Our main waiter was also the owner, great personality, said his wife made them and I couldn't stop complimenting everything. (very unusual for me). 3 of us $40.86 plus a nice tip. Our only dilemma is we like the Pho so much we rarely get around to trying the rest of the menu.

            We can't wait to go back. For sure our next trip is with my son who lives in PHO-less Myrtle Beach N.C. He will be up Xmas week.

            1. re: seagulls1
              s
              seagulls1 Dec 23, 2009 07:16 PM

              My 2nd trip, wife and #2 son 3rd trip. This time 6 of us at lunch. They were short handed and packed, all tables full. They did a pretty good job trying to keep up, but of course some things were slipped and service slow. We actually did not have a problem with the slow service as we all got a chance to chat.

              The primary thing is we all agreed that the broth could be better. Deeper more complex beef flavor needed and less sweet. Also not quite enough meat.

              My daughter had the spring rolls, very good, large, w lots of shrimp and pork. She also had the vermicelli with pork, Very good, the pork was nicely grilled and retained a good grill flavor. Again not quite enough meat so she was very reluctant to share, lol.

              We skipped desert and of course (with 6 of us) I forgot the 20% off coupon, again. lol

              Bottom line, I still prefer Pho 75 on Adams for the broth but I do not miss the drive down there. So we are very satisfied with Pho and Beyond.

            2. re: seagulls1
              g
              gwebber Dec 9, 2009 05:37 PM

              Ah, man. I never get out that way - I had heard there were some Vietnamese places but nobody I knew had any idea where! I work in the city though, and I have family in South Philly so I rarely had to make a special trip. Very glad you liked Pho and Beyond though! I'm with you on the "liked the pho so much probably wouldn't stray" - luckily my hubby isn't a huge fan of pho.

            3. re: gwebber
              oliviasaru Mar 28, 2010 06:27 AM

              We were there last night for the third time, first time for dinner. Banh mi are now on the specials menu! I have a cold, though, so I was there for the pho tai - terrific as usual. Their broth is really exemplary. We had enticed my mother to come out with us and try it (she's young, but not adventurous when it comes to eating). She really enjoyed the chicken salad, which was poached shredded chicken served over a bed of chopped cabbage and other vegetables with a lemon dressing and fried shallots. She and my daughter shared the large wonton soup, which was terrific - savory broth, handmade wontons, dark greens and what looked like thin ramen noodles. I still hit up Adams Ave when I want fast and cheap, but for not much more time and money, with great food and more upscale ambiance, Pho & Beyond is a great place to eat!

            4. b
              b1979 Feb 23, 2010 04:15 AM

              We really love Pho and Beyond and have been there about 8 times since it opened. The food is consistently great. The service could use some work, but the food more than makes up for it. The Pho is delicious and I usually get the catfish in a clay pot, which is amazing. The cabbage soup is also one of my favorites. The only criticism I have is that they really need to get some new music in there. They play this one cd over and over and it has cricket sounds in it, very strange.
              But overall this place is excellent and we are so happy to finally have a great restaurant close to our house.

              1. PattiCakes Mar 15, 2010 07:14 AM

                We went Friday night with My daughter and SIL. AWESOME.

                Arrived at 6 to an empty pl;ace; by 7 it was packed. We had the combo app (4 @ of 4 different apps, pluse a nice pile of shrimp& cabbage slaw. DD had a bowl of the home-made cabbage roll soup. 4 entrees, including 2 bowls of the deluxe pho, an order of yellow curry with chicken and the catfish hot pot. Total bill = $65. We shared our beer with the table next to us when we found out they had left theirs at home, so they ended up buying us dessert. The desserts were a small dissapointment because they were out of half of them -- only ones left were the ice creams and the flan. All of those were good, however.

                Service was very good & attentive, with a server who was both personable and spoke English very well. Ordinarily I would not care about the English proficiency, but we were all new to Vietnamese food so it really helped to have someone who could give good, easily understandable explanations.

                We will certainly be returning. It's just my personal opinion that places like this are more fun with multiple couples, but it's close enough to home to just drop in with my DH on a whim. Although I am not an expert, I thought the pho was wonderful. Great meal for a chilly, rainy night!

                1. JunieB Dec 12, 2013 07:52 PM

                  Just moved to Wyncote and ate here tonight. The food was exceptional! My husband shared the fried tofu spring rolls and the char-grilled chicken spring rolls. They were HUGE! I would order them again but I would ask for only one order and ask that they be cut in half. They're too heavy to be eaten with chopsticks.

                  My husband had a beef pho dish and he said it was excellent. I had a noodle dish with chicken that was also very delicious. The key to good Vietnamese food is fresh ingredients, and the ingredients were very fresh.

                  It will definitely be one of my go-to places. I feel fortunate to have it so near by because this area is a bit of a wasteland for good food.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: JunieB
                    h
                    Hungryin theBurbs Dec 13, 2013 04:26 AM

                    Glad you liked it. It is one of our frequent stops. We might even go tonight! I am fond of the papaya salad and my kids are always happy to eat pho.

                    Another convenient place to eat/get food is at the HMart at the intersection of Cheltenham Ave. and OYR. The food court is decent for a quick meal, with a variety of Korean and Vietnamese foods. The little ready-made/takeout place on the first floor, right before the entrance to the store also has good food.

                    1. re: Hungryin theBurbs
                      JunieB Dec 13, 2013 05:28 AM

                      I didn't know what it was called or remember where it was but I think I've been to the HMart in years past. Is there a French pastry shop there? Also a great little market with cookware and groceries? If that's the one, thanks for reminding me!

                      1. re: JunieB
                        h
                        Hungryin theBurbs Dec 13, 2013 05:54 AM

                        Yes, that's the one! The bakery is called Paris Baguette--sinful! The store is very nice. Best place around for fresh fish, and often has really good prices on produce. If you are in Wyncote, it can't be far.

                        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs
                          JunieB Dec 13, 2013 07:11 AM

                          Just looked and according to Mapquest, we're only 6 minutes away. I didn't know you could buy fish there. That's wonderful. Maybe my area isn't such a wasteland after all!

                          A new neighbor took me to lunch at Curds & Whey the other day and it was very good. I brought home salmon, asparagus, and roasted beets from their prepared foods section for dinner and everything was delicious.

                          The neighbor also recommended 211 York in Jenkintown. Are you familiar with it? I looked at the menu and looks pretty interesting but a bit on the pricey side. More expensive than Argana Tree and Leila's which I like a lot.

                  2. PattiCakes Dec 16, 2013 01:15 PM

                    Just as an FYI, Pho and Beyond does take out. There's nuthin' like a big bowl of pho on a snowy night.

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