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Where's the best bowl of pho in southern NE.?

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  • Td61 Jul 15, 2010 06:25 PM
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I live in Ct., but I'll drive.

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  1. Pho 501, East Hartford

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    Pho 501
    501 Main St Ste 5, East Hartford, CT 06118

    1. Pho Vietnam in Danbury

      1 Reply
      1. re: BlueSoup

        I can't opine which is best, having only eaten at Pho Vietnam in Danbury. But I can confirm it is very good: one of our favorite places to eat locally, full stop.

        Others on this board say that Pho Saigon in Bridgeport is very good too. I have to try to make it there next time in that neck of the woods.

      2. I went to Pho Vietnam in Danbury recently - the food was yummy and the people who worked there were very sweet. It was not a fancy place, but heck, we are talking about Pho! I've heard there are some places in New Haven, but I haven't tried them yet.

        1. Fantastic Pho is at Phien's Kitchen in Lowell, MA - well worth the drive. Also try the Laotian sausage. And take some papaya salad and larb home with you.

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          Phien's Kitchen
          586 Westford St, Lowell, MA 01851

          1. Pho 501 in East Hartford. Options are beef or shrmp, I prefer the beef. I would sign over my first born to get my hands on their broth recipe. I am convinced it has magical powers.

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            Pho 501
            501 Main St Ste 5, East Hartford, CT 06118

            1 Reply
            1. re: mels

              I had to go to East Hartford today but, to my great sadness, Pho 501 is closed on Mondays. Still, I pressed my nose to the glass and saw a woman inside, sorting out all sorts of delicious greens on the tables. I guess she makes up the assortments you get with each bowl of pho in advance. Probably a great time saver, but I do hope she gets some time off from work. I'm going to have to think up an excuse to get back up that way!

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              Pho 501
              501 Main St Ste 5, East Hartford, CT 06118

            2. Try Pho Saigon on Wood Ave in Bridgeport. It is probably the best I have had. I lived in Boston for a while and use to like Pho Pasteur in Chinatown and this is as good or better. The place is owned by a Vietnamese women. Most of her customers are Vietnamese and this is the real stuff. Have had the house pho about 100 times but have tried some of the other dishes from her limited menu. Also try the Bun #21 or the Bahn Mi the Vietnamese sandwich. The restaurant is on the bottom floor of a house and I believe the family lives upstairs. Not the best neighborhood but never had a problem. Simple place but excellent food for about 8 bucks an entree. Great experience and very nice and accommodating people.

              1. Thanks so much for your recommendations!
                The only Pho I've tried and LOVED was at Thai Basil in
                Danielson, Ct.

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                Thai Basil
                187 North St, Danielson, CT 06239

                11 Replies
                1. re: Td61

                  We headed up to Danbury Saturday for lunch but Pho Vietnam was closed! They are away on vacation and sign says they will re-open on July 22nd.

                  What a bummer! (we ended up at the Indian place up the road, and had a fine lunch buffet in any case)

                  1. re: chipmonger

                    Do you know the name of the Indian place?

                    1. re: RatherBeFishing

                      The restaurant is called Mysore. It is maybe a mile up the road, just past the entrance to Federal white-collar prison. The restaurant is on the left.

                      1. re: chipmonger

                        Used to be the Bombay Diner

                        1. re: chipmonger

                          Mysore...what a funny name. I'll have to try it because I'm up that way a lot and I really like Indian food. Sorry about Pho Vietnam. Are you going to try them again sometime soon? I really want to get back there again soon. When we were there - there was a gentleman (the owner?) who knew that I wasn't very familiar with the food and he was telling us which dishes were good.

                          1. re: RatherBeFishing

                            Yes, I drove by it the other day and the sign was up indicating new ownership and a new name. Mysore is certainly an unfortunate choice of name for a restaurant.

                            1. re: BlueSoup

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore

                              It's near Bangladesh.

                              Are all the 2nd graders done laughing yet?

                              1. re: applehome

                                Yes, I am aware of the heritage behind the name, the English translation however, sounds less than appetizing. Hopefully most grown-ups will get past the initial giggles and give it a try. The Bombay Diner was very good.

                                1. re: applehome

                                  Mysore isn't anywhere near Bangladesh, actually. It's in south India near Bangalore, the technology capital of India, and it's a very pleasant town to visit. Bangladesh is a country to the northeast of India.

                                  Mysore restaurant actually has very good food, but it's mostly unfortunately named because it's a north Indian / Bangladeshi restaurant, not a south Indian one.

                                  They have Mysore masala dosa and regular masala dosa on the menu, which are the only south Indian offerings as far as I could tell. The two dosas were also the worst things we tried from the menu (too thick and more like utthapam than dosa, too little salt, a bit too sour, toor dal in sambar not cooked down sufficiently).

                                  OTOH, the north Indian dishes were pretty good: chana masala had an interesting hint of smoke; aloo gobi palak was mostly potato, not cauliflower, but was well spiced and well balanced, generally; chicken vindaloo was not spicy at all, but I'm sure it could be if you asked nicely; tandoori chicken was well seasoned, tender and very juicy. Staff were on the ball and genuinely very, very nice. (We were a huge fan of our waiter, a charming young man of 21, whose father owns the restaurant.) I know it doesn't matter to everyone, but let it be known for the record that the bathrooms were extremely clean, too.

                              2. re: RatherBeFishing

                                No worries, we'll be back. We are regulars at Pho Vietnam. I think we will call first, though as this was the second time in a few months we found them closed.

                                Regarding Mysore, I knew the origin of the name but my wife did not. She had the same giggle reaction.

                                As far as I can tell, it is a general Indian restaurant, and a decent one at that. It does not specialize in a particular region or cuisine, i.e. southern indian or veg.

                                1. re: chipmonger

                                  UPDATE: we wanted Pho this weekend, so I called ahead to Pho Vietnam in Danbury. Message on phone says out until August 6th.

                                  They must have decided to extend their vacation. Now starting to feel the effects of deprivation. :-(

                      2. I have tried Pho at several places in RI and PA. I tried the non meat Pho at Pho Evergreen in Smithfield RI and it remains my favorite. The first time I had it, it was a very cold day and it was the hottest soup ever with crisp fresh vegetables. It is still a remember able meal of all time for me. I have been there other times and tried the non vegetable and other things and have had outstanding and almost-outstanding food experiences. The non meat Pho has always been outstanding. Even my meat eater (beef Pho) companion has agreed. It is not CT but if you are ever in the RI, stop by.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: perogi

                          The pho there is terrible. It's too sweet. I don't know how they can mess up pho. I've banned it.

                        2. Regarding Pho501, it is closed until Aug. 3 or 4.

                          1. Pho Boston in West Hartford. Really authentic and delicious.

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                            Pho Boston Restaurant
                            144 Shield St, West Hartford, CT 06110

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: krisrishere

                              I had spicy pho here once and it was too spicy for me. It's a large restaurant and most of the peope in the restaurant are eating Pho. So I think that it must be good.

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                              Pho Boston Restaurant
                              144 Shield St, West Hartford, CT 06110

                            2. I loved Pot-au-pho, in New Haven.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: zammdogg

                                I would love to be positive about Pot-au-Pho. I would love to have a good pho place near me. This ain't it. When they opened, I rejoiced, because their pho was pretty good. It was, at least something approximating the real deal instead of that horrid brown stuff made from beef stock concentrate.

                                When it first opened, it was much better, but Pot-au-Pho has been on a steady downward spiral. I went with a group last week and the offerings were pretty nasty. Four of our party ordered pho. No greens were offered, no herbs, no bean sprouts, no lime wedge, no chilis. I asked the server and he told me they were coming. He lied. He got some for us, but I looked around the room and none of the many people who seemed to be eating pho had been given any greens. When it came, there was one small plate for four people. The bean sprouts were brown and nasty. There was no cilantro, no mint, only basil.

                                One of the dishes we ordered as an entree would have made an okay appetizer. Overall it was pretty flaky. They've been heading that way. I've been there and been served burned dishes, been served nasty undercooked dishes. Something, something not pleasant, is going on behind the scenes, I think. I have written off the place entirely, but I always seem to end up with larger groups of people who have no taste buds.

                              2. Just read on Yelp that Pho Vietnam was closed for renovations not vacation. Heaven knows it needed it but i will miss the unfinished plywood counter and rundown decor. I"m not sure why but i think i will. Hopefully they are upgrading the bathroom situation too. That's really bad.

                                1. Just as an FYI - Pho 501 in East Hartford has reopened after their annual summer shutdown, complete with a fresh coat of paint. Have no fear, nothing else has changed.

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                                  Pho 501
                                  501 Main St Ste 5, East Hartford, CT 06118

                                  1. Well the newly renovated Pho Vietnam has reopened in Danbury with a much needed facelift. While it is certainly an improvement over the old decor,it seems rather incongruent with a vietnamese restaurant--looks like a small, formal wedding reception hall now. Oh well, food is still great and it's a little easier to recommend it to others. Before, the run down appearance always made me hesitant. I didn't mind it for myself, but as a reco, I always hesitated.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: BlueSoup

                                      They have also redecorated/updated/snazzified their website and online menu. I like it. I'm going to call in a lunch order today, I think. Looking forward to seeing the new look of the restaurant. I haven't been in a few months!

                                      http://www.phovietnamrestaurant.com

                                    2. Thuan Loi in So. Yarmouth on the Cape has the best (only?) Pho on the Cape. A bit pricey at around $10, it is simmered for 9 hours and served with fresh bean sprouts, lime, basil, and chili pepper on the side for takeout. Very nice dish and I like either the beef with brisket, rare beef, tripe and tendon,or for the less adventurous, chicken strips.

                                      One caveat, I usually order take out as the owner has the tendancy of hovering around the tables and chewing your ear off..

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                                      Thuan Loi Restaurant
                                      1300 Route 28, South Yarmouth, MA 02664

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                        I second Thuan Loi, and I drive from Connecticut twice a year for it. On the contrary, though, I LOVE Mr.Tran, he's a sweetheart and I respect the fact that, in Vietnamese culture, food and dining is a social event. I appreciate the fact that CapeCod Guy likes pho, but it might be nice if he learned something about the culture and regarded him with the respect that an older gentleman deserves.

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                                        Thuan Loi Restaurant
                                        1300 Route 28, South Yarmouth, MA 02664

                                      2. Pho Paradise on Broad Street in Providence is solid, not sure if it's worth a 50-100 mile drive from Ct. but if you are in the area and having a craving, this is the place to go. The ambiance is pretty awful, hole in the wall, family sitting around watching tv, but the pho is very good.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: choch

                                          It's ok. A hole in the wall for sure. Not worth the drive but locally it's just ok. I would save your $$ and go with your family's own pho if they know how to make it.

                                        2. Just to add another destination for those looking for a good bowl of pho..I was driving thru the center of East Hartford and from the corner of my eye saw Vietnamese Restaurant. Turned around and walked into a bright and clean dining room. The places is called Le's and it is located @ 980 Main St in E. Hartford. Not to be confused with pho 501 also on Main St. The owner, Le waits on all the customers and her family does the cooking. She is a delightful women and treats you like your are her best customer. She has an extensive menu with all the traditional Vietnamese dishes including a long list of soup. The Pho is great with all the accompanying garnishes. I would recommend anyone in the area give this place a try. At the end of out meal Le hand delivers a piece of chocolate cake that she proudly states I made this myself. You will love her. Unfortunately I live In Milford so this is not a place I would go for a quick dinner but give it a try.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: louds911

                                            Thankyou for the heads up. I will attempt to get there tommorrow to try it out. Did you have anything other than the pho?

                                            1. re: askeenan

                                              My so had the duck soup which she really liked. I get to a pho house and that is all I ever see on the menu. ..

                                              1. re: louds911

                                                Likewise. If I had a really good pho place right near where I lived or worked, I'd get around to eating other things. But oh man, good pho? Nothing better!

                                                1. re: Pipenta

                                                  just wanted to chime in that my last two visits to Pho Boston have been disappointing, and I have been going there for 9 years. Aside from the
                                                  always indifferent service which one learns to take for granted, the last
                                                  2 times the fills on the bowls have been short, and the broth off its standard,
                                                  and things aren't getting any cheaper there.

                                                  I will miss the tea though....it's the best.

                                                  1. re: MacshashRIP

                                                    Brand-new restaurant LOTUS serves decent pho on Rt. 146A in No. Smithfield, RI.

                                          2. Minh Hai in Cranston Rhode Island

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                                            Minh Hai
                                            1096 Park Ave, Cranston, RI 02910

                                            1. Pho Saigon at the X on Dickinson Street in Springfield MA.

                                              1. http://www.phogardenct.com/page1
                                                With all this chatter about Pho I decided I had to give it a try. I went to Pho Garden in Westport, CT last week. I asked the waiter what he recommended and he suggested a combination which consisted of flank, tripe, tendon, steak and meatballs. Not my cup of tea but the other menu items looked promising.

                                                1. I'm surprised that a certain felineoptic CH poster hasn't chipped in about Pho Mai in Middletown. A tiny casual hole-in-the-wall on N. Main, it offers many variations on Pho. I've only been there once, since I'm not a Middletown native, and I'm no Phoafile, but it definitely seems worth another visit.

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                                                  Pho Mai
                                                  570 Main ST, Middletown, CT 06457

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: DonShirer

                                                    A big +1 to that, buddy! You know I love Pho Mai, too. :) >>^..^<<

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                                                    Pho Mai
                                                    570 Main ST, Middletown, CT 06457

                                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                                      Hands down Pho Boston in West Hartford is the best for Pho. Order # 17. It's a little spicy and delicious. We have been known to eat # 17 more than once a week. I am very close to Pho Mai but I always travel to Pho Boston as Pho Mai doesn't even compare.

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                                                      Pho Mai
                                                      570 Main ST, Middletown, CT 06457

                                                      Pho Boston Restaurant
                                                      144 Shield St, West Hartford, CT 06110

                                                      1. re: ganache123

                                                        Haven't been to Shield St. Plaza to eat in a LONG time, but will keep #17 in mind as it's a different twist on my usual pho choice.

                                                        1. re: ganache123

                                                          #17 is flavorful and outstanding--good call!

                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                            glad you liked it. I could have it several times a week and not tire of it.