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Vietnam Cafe in West Philly?

randihowie Jun 16, 2010 06:36 PM

Has anyone been? Is it good?
It looked like there was also a small pho restaurant nearby on 42 and Spruce. Is that any good?


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  1. a
    asmith RE: randihowie Jun 16, 2010 07:17 PM

    If you loved Vietnam in Chinatown, you'll love this resto and free, easy parking!

    1. b
      barryg RE: randihowie Jun 16, 2010 09:54 PM

      I didn't care for it but I don't like VIetnam in Chinatown much either... definitely do not order the Pho at Vietnam Cafe; when I had it, it was awful. The other dishes are ok. I haven't been to the other place you mention but never heard it compared favorably to the spots in South Philly.

      I think a good rule of thumb is to not trust Pho from a restaurant without tripe on the menu (Vietnam/Vietnam Cafe).

      1. r
        ramenbound RE: randihowie Jun 17, 2010 07:11 AM

        I actually prefer Vietnam Cafe to Vietnam. Much more comfortable - better table spacing.

        Pho isn't their strongpoint - love their appetizers. Definitely go for the appetizers.

        Cafe Saigon on 43rd and Spruce has pho about twice in size that which you'd get at V.C.. However, I haven't found anything else to my liking from there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ramenbound
          rabidog RE: ramenbound Jun 21, 2010 07:59 PM

          i agree - i like vietnam cafe better than vietnam. enough so that i pass vietnam and trek all the way across town to get to it! my staple there are the pan fried noodles... they are so tasty. haven't tried the pho. if i don't get pan fried noodles then it's usually a vermicelli bowl. and the appetizers are definitely fantastic!

        2. r
          randihowie RE: randihowie Jun 17, 2010 01:15 PM

          Thanks for the input!

          1. w
            Wubbs RE: randihowie Jun 18, 2010 07:50 AM

            The pho restaurant at 43rd and spruce is pretty good. Not the best, but if you live in the area its a nice neighborhood place.
            Its a lot of soup so I always get extra noodles for &.5-1 and take the rest home

            My friend swears by their milkshakes- I haven't tried one though

            1. g
              george2 RE: randihowie Jun 18, 2010 08:07 AM

              I've been a number of times to the one at 42 and Spruce. It's good and inexpensive. The pho is fine as are the other dishes. Try it and let us know what you think.

              1 Reply
              1. re: george2
                Misha RE: george2 Jun 18, 2010 06:10 PM

                I always get their spicy lemongrass soup. It's excellent and like Ramenbound, prefer it to their place in Chinatown.

              2. r
                randihowie RE: randihowie Jun 25, 2010 07:55 AM

                Thanks, everyone, for the input.

                We did go to the Vietnam Cafe last weekend and really enjoyed it. It was actually better than I expected. I was surprised at how big and nice the place was, and we liked that they had a parking lot. This was the first Vietnamese place that I took my kids to that they absolutely loved - my younger son couldn't eat the spring rolls fast enough. We had the spring rolls, grape leaves, meatballs, lemongrass beef on vermiccelli, house special on vermicelli, and chicken on broken rice. Other then the chicken on broken rice, which I didn't really care for, everything else was delicious. Their version of Vietnamese Lemonade (actually limeade) was also especially good - really tart and light.

                Because Vietnam Cafe is a little closer than either of the other Vietnamese places we love (one in Chinatown and one in Paoli), this will probably become our go to vietnamese place for now.

                2 Replies
                1. re: randihowie
                  ramenbound RE: randihowie Jun 25, 2010 08:08 AM

                  Great to hear, randihowie! The Lai family definitely went the extra effort to make VC a lot cozier - its old space next door actually was even more cramped than Vietnam. Glad that someone else appreciates it too!

                  1. re: randihowie
                    paychecktoday RE: randihowie Jun 25, 2010 08:35 AM

                    Where are you located Randi? There are a couple other places worthwhile to check out that could be closer. Upper Darby has 2 decent restaurants in Cafe/Pho Anh Hong and Little Saigon located in the H-Mart shopping strip by the 69th Street Terminal.

                    Ardmore/Bryn Mawr also has Ha Long Bay, which isn't bad either on Rt.30, a little past Bryn Mawr Hospital

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