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Feb 3, 2013 07:18 PM

Vietnamese Pho and The Vietnam Cafe

So I finally got to try the Vietnam Cafe in Telford last night. It was good but not the best. I'm a tough critic, having been to Vietnam once. I usually frequent Vietnam Restaurant in Philly but didn't feel like driving down there this time and thought I'd give the cafe a try. The glass noodle pho was fine except the huge pieces if pork. I'm used to small pieces. And only four pieces of shrimp still with the tails. So this brought back memories of the pho I had in Saigon/go Chi Minh that was with shrimp balls and I was wondering, is there any places in the area that serve it this way? Thank you!

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  1. Have you been to any of the restaurants on Washington Avenue in Philadelphia? Or any of the restaurants on Adams Avenue in the northeast.

    What did you think of the broth?

    1 Reply
    1. re: cwdonald

      Yes, I've had Nam Phoung. Broth was pretty good. Really craving the shrimp balls.

    2. I love the Bun Hue soup (think that's what its called) at Vietnam Cafe. It's a bowl of spicy goodness.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Misha

        For Bun bo Hue, try Cafe Diem (8th & Washington). They only have about 5 items on the menu.

        1. re: SP1

          SP1 - how are their bahn mi? with Cafe Nhu Y closed I am looking for a new spot

      2. I also am pretty tough when it comes to Vietnamese, and shrimp balls are hard to come by in Philly. I cannot recall any restaurants in the Philly area that offer it, only fish or some other combination of seafood in a ball (not shrimp by itself). If anyone knows of any, please let me know also.

        So far, the best Vietnamese pho I have had thus far has been from Upper Darby (Pho and Cafe Anh Hong) right by the H-Mart at Terminal Square. Pho 75 is also very good. Nam Phuong and Le Viet, I was very disappointed in their pho. It wasn't bad by any means, but I had maybe a higher expectation of it, since it has been highly touted on the boards. It tasted a little bland to me, as if they watered down the broth too much, who knows.

        13 Replies
          1. re: barryg

            Yes, I have tried them too. I usually get the bun thit nuong (grilled pork rice noodle bowl) which is pretty good. I've had their pho before also, but do not recall if it was good or not. I'll try them again in the near future.

            1. re: paychecktoday

              Try it, it's the best among the Washington Ave spots. I really like Nam Phuong too, doesn't taste too watered down to me compared to the competition, did you only try it once?

              1. re: barryg

                I had the pho at Pho Ha a long time ago, so I have to give it another shot. I also heard they changed names to Pho Ta....not sure if any additional changes happened, menu or service-wise within the restaurants. Will keep you posted when I finally get back there and get a taste of the food.

                I also had the pho at a restaurant up by Adams Avenue (not Pho 75) that was by the HK Supermarket on Rising Sun. Can't remember the name but it was decent. I also know the place either isn't there anymore, or went thru owner change since I last went there (3-4 yrs ago).

                1. re: paychecktoday

                  Pho Hoa on 11th St changed over to Pho Ta. Pho Ha is at 6th & Washington and is still there under that name.

                  1. re: barryg

                    Sorry, I get those 2 mixed up. I know where each are...I've had Pho Hoa/Pho Ta (behind Nam Phuong right?) before and from what I remember it was average. Not bad, but nothing great that sticks out. I would suggest that place as a good starter spot for those who are new to pho (they have colorful menus, and more Americanized than most Viet spots).

                  2. re: paychecktoday

                    is Pho and Cafe Anh Hong better than Pho Ha?

                    I tried Pho Ha, it was decent, but nothing amazing...but I go down to my gf's family's place in Philly and I usually try to take them somewhere when we're not eating at their place and everyone likes pho, so been trying to find the best place

                    1. re: Lau

                      I can't really say if it is better than Pho Ha, as I haven't been there in a while. But I can say it is better IMHO, than the bigger named Viet spots (Le Viet, Nam Phuong, and Vietnam Cafe -- West Philly). The reason I say this is because to me the cuts of meat in their pho deluxe (which I ordered at all locations listed) were better. Broth was tasty and has been consistent every time I have had it. Their prices are also pretty cheap (cheaper than the Philly spots from what I remember). All the other items that accompany it (sprouts, thai basil, lime, siracha/hoisin) are basically all the same in all locations. It comes in one bowl size, and is very filling.

                      The only downfall of Anh Hong is their parking. Parking (metered) is very limited, but there is a lot across from the strip mall. I know it is free after 5 pm I believe during the week, and free all weekend. Anytime before 5 during the week, you may have to pay, as it is the municipal lot for the court/township building.

                      There are other good ethnic places around that area for shopping and dining (H-Mart Supermarket, Don Memo for Mexican, Yang Yang Express for Chinese Dumplings, Little Saigon is another good local Viet spot).

                      Like I said, it's my personal choice for pho, and worth a trip to try it out.

              1. re: littlecmad

                Nam Phuong and Pho Ta have large soup menus, with choices that include fish balls. Not sure if I've seen fish balls listed as an add-on to pho, but surely you could ask for it in your bowl, or try one of the soups that comes with them.

                1. re: barryg

                  Any Pho (by the way, properly pronounced "Fuh") restaurants in the Main Line area?

                  1. re: arepo

                    Not sure if you really consider it the mainline but in June a Pho restaurant opened at the food court at the Court of King of Prussia. Pholicious. Have not eaten there but decent reviews on Yelp. How far do you consider mainline. Malvern Paoli too far? Would you go to Upper Derby?

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      Yes I do consider K of P and Malvern the Main Line area. Upper Darby? No.
                      Food Court? Not for this snob, but thanks.