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Pho in Dallas?

ryansupak Jun 13, 2005 01:27 AM

Hi, new to Dallas, from Houston. In Houston, there is seemingly a good Pho place on every block. I'm having a slow start finding them here.

Any recommendations? So far, the best I've found is Pho Pasteur II in Carrollton (in a Vietnamese shopping center), and the worst is Pho Boston in Plano (incredibly greasy).

OK, to be fair, the Pho at Mr. Chopsticks in Denton was even worse.

My ideal is specialized Pho restaurants, as opposed to Vietnamese restaurants that serve Pho in addition to many other dishes.

Thanks for any thoughts!

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  1. k
    Kirk RE: ryansupak Jun 13, 2005 09:43 AM

    It's part of a mini-chain, but Pho Que Huong on 15th (at Independence) in Plano is very good. The pho is definitely the star of the show, but they also have a broad menu including banh mi and vermicelli. My recent favorite is their "beef combination" -- three different kinds of meatballs (for want of a better word) served with vermicelli, garnishes and wrappers.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Kirk
      JT RE: Kirk Sep 22, 2005 02:29 PM

      Que Huong is horrible. Pho 95 is the best all around.

      1. re: JT
        Kirk RE: JT Sep 22, 2005 05:25 PM

        Can you expand on your statement that Pho Que Huong is horrible? Are you referring to the one in Plano?

        1. re: Kirk
          blakepilot RE: Kirk Feb 4, 2008 10:31 AM

          pho que huong is terrible. try bistro b in garland or my personal favorite pho express on belt line near josey.

          1. re: blakepilot
            Epicurious Esquire RE: blakepilot Feb 4, 2008 05:46 PM

            I third or fourth the "que huoung is terrible" comments. It might be the worst pho on Earth.

            Unfortunately, I live in East Dallas and am forced to go to Vietnam. While it is not great Pho, it is WAAAAY better than Que Huoung, which I believe means "native village" or some such.

            If you like Asian Noodle soups, go to First Chinese BBQ and/or King Noodle.

            1. re: Epicurious Esquire
              blessed02 RE: Epicurious Esquire Mar 15, 2008 05:55 PM

              Also Vietnamese - also categorically reject the pho at Pho Que Huong. We always go to Pho Bac in Richardson, partly out of inertia because that's where we've always gone, that's where my parents and relatives go, and it's always been excellent so we've never had reason to change.

            2. re: blakepilot
              HuongStar RE: blakepilot Mar 28, 2008 01:54 PM

              I'll agree the Que Huong is terrible (murky, muddled broth, over salted) but Bistro B is equally just as bad for the opposite reason (bland, bland, bland, and unequal noodle - meat ratio).

            3. re: Kirk
              tcobb RE: Kirk May 12, 2008 06:50 AM

              I am vietnamese, and what Pho Que Huong is passing as "vietnamese pho" is puzzling. I too reject what they call "pho" at this franchise. Pho should have a piping hot, clear, fresh scented broth, infused with fragrant herbs and spices. Instead, the pho is murky, smells overly pungent and meaty, too salty, and the noodles overcooked. The best thing that you can to real Pho in the Dallas metroplex is either Pho Pasteur off of Beltline and Josey in Carrollton, or Pho 95 in Richardson. You should try the Hu Tieu at these locations. Its a seafood noodle dish with egg noodles. They add deep fried shallots to the noodle dishes -Very tasty !

              1. re: tcobb
                sunnygordy RE: tcobb May 13, 2009 01:30 PM

                I'm only in town for the night & my pregnancy hormones have me craving Vietnamese like nothing else. I'm staying over by Quorum & Belt Line. The only place I've seen nearby is the Que Huong on Belt Line. I'm bummed it's gotten such poor reviews. Is there somewhere else that's close to that area I could try?

                1. re: sunnygordy
                  air RE: sunnygordy May 13, 2009 01:40 PM

                  Drive west and go down to Belt Line and Josey. Look for Pho Pasteur or Pho 2006.

                  1. re: sunnygordy
                    LewisvilleHounder RE: sunnygordy May 13, 2009 03:11 PM

                    I would recommend Pho 2006 over Pho Pastuer....also the bun cha ha noi is good at Pho 2006

              2. re: JT
                mframpton RE: JT Apr 2, 2009 01:13 PM

                I looked for Pho 95 on Google but it looks like that is now Pho Huy. Can somone validate?

            4. s
              simply_victoria RE: ryansupak Jun 13, 2005 10:06 AM

              While I haven't had time to check them out, there are a number of pho restaurants located at Greenville and Beltline. I think you might have some good luck over there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: simply_victoria
                Kirk RE: simply_victoria Jun 13, 2005 10:10 AM

                One of them, in the same lot as Maxim's (north of Beltline), is a Pho Que Huong. I'll admit that I have never gotten past Maxim's when I have been in the parking lot, but I imagine it is good.

              2. s
                Scott RE: ryansupak Jun 13, 2005 10:39 AM

                If you head west on Walnut (from 75), you'll pass many Vietnamese places (pho shops, bakeries, tofu makers, etc.) in the stretch from Audelia (where Hong Kong Market Place is located) to Jupiter (with Hiep Thai Market). I haven't been to everything along that stretch and am not especially knowledgeable about Vietnamese cuisine. But I've enjoyed most of what I've eaten along there.

                For starters, try Pho Duy Tan, adjacent to the Hiep Thai Market. It was recommended to me by several people here and elsewhere. Most of what I've had there (and especially the bun bo hue, pictured below) has been quite good.

                Please share the results of your explorations with us. I'd love to hear about anything you find that's delicious, unique, or (ideally) both.


                Image: http://www.dallasfood.org/photos/viet...

                3 Replies
                1. re: Scott
                  john clark RE: Scott Sep 23, 2005 01:47 AM

                  Right on about Duy Tan. Also, closer to downtown, try Viet Nam on Bryan St. Neither of these places have just pho but both are superb.

                  1. re: Scott
                    Dallas Alice RE: Scott Feb 5, 2008 06:30 AM

                    Duy Tan closed a couple of months ago. It has been replaced by An Giang, which is not as good. Duy Tan's owners opened a new place, PaLa Cafe, on Buckingham, in the same strip center as the Saigon market. PaLa has a number of American dishes on it menu that seem totally out of place, but the pho is still good.

                    1. re: Dallas Alice
                      HuongStar RE: Dallas Alice Mar 28, 2008 01:56 PM

                      However, don't write off An Giang completely. They're good for vermicelli bowls and bun rieu.

                  2. m
                    Mr. Bean RE: ryansupak Jun 13, 2005 04:43 PM

                    I think the best pho is Pho Pasteur in east Richardson on the corner of Plano Rd and Beltline. It is a sibling of the Pho Pasteur II in Carrollton that you mentioned. It is really clean and the people running it are very friendly.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mr. Bean
                      fishfry RE: Mr. Bean Feb 4, 2008 11:31 AM

                      Pho Que Huong is a chain. It was one of the first Pho houses around. The one in Plano is pretty good, but the one on Preston near Frankford is awful.
                      I like Pho Nu Bay on Preston it is very clean and new. The Dallas Observer slammed it pretty hard but the guy who reviewed it was cluless and just bitched about the menu, he never mentioned the Pho in the review.
                      The best Pho's Ive eaten in Garland and Richardson come from places that only specilize in Pho.

                    2. j
                      J.R. RE: ryansupak Feb 4, 2008 12:05 PM

                      I would say Pho Bac on Beltline and Plano Rd. in E. Richardson. My partner and most of my employees are Vietnamese and that's their take.

                      1. a
                        al427 RE: ryansupak Feb 4, 2008 12:26 PM

                        I'd have to agree that Pho Pasteur is one of the best pho places. My friends and I eat there almost every weekend.

                        I also like Pho Bang in Garland. It's one of those hole in the wall type places and it's not as clean looking or spacious as Pho Pasteur. It reminds me of one of my favorite places in Houston, Pho Nguyen on Bellaire.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: al427
                          HuongStar RE: al427 Mar 28, 2008 01:59 PM

                          I agree with these two places! It's the only places my parents will eat if they're craving pho and don't want to cook it at home.

                          1. re: al427
                            civic4982 RE: al427 Jun 17, 2009 02:10 PM

                            +1 for Pho Bang in Garland. IT's definitely one of the best places in Dallas. I grew up in the DFW area and that's been a family favorite for years.

                          2. p
                            pikachu2818 RE: ryansupak Feb 5, 2008 02:39 PM

                            Dude I'm from Houston and the only Pho place I eat at is My Tho in Garland (Plano & Walnut). It tastes the best and they have other good food too especially Goi Cuon! Their Com Tam Bi is good too and Bun Thit Nuong. Just try everything. Take your time and keep coming back! ;) Otherwise I wait till I go to Houston to eat anywhere else.

                            1. e
                              Epicurious Esquire RE: ryansupak Mar 16, 2008 06:27 PM

                              I've had the pho at Oishi a few times recently. While they don't have gan (tendon) and sach (tripe) and all that weird shit that I love so much, the broth is flavorful, almost free of floating globules of grease and the basil, cilantro and bean sprouts seem are very fresh.

                              It's also kinda nice to start the meal with 1 order of uni. A bit pricey, but it makes my taste buds smile.

                              1. kingofkings RE: ryansupak Mar 25, 2008 12:57 PM

                                PHO Mac at Parker and Independence is the best PHO in DFW. Family owned and operated, they also have outstanding rolls and rice/noodle dishes. I eat there at least twice per week.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: kingofkings
                                  LewisvilleHounder RE: kingofkings Mar 25, 2008 04:04 PM

                                  Interesting b/c Pho Mac also has a location at Plano Rd & Campbell Rd at the opposite end from Taqueria El Fuego. Is that one also family owned and operated?

                                  1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                    LewisvilleHounder RE: LewisvilleHounder Mar 26, 2008 07:19 AM

                                    I retract I believe it is a Pho Vina

                                    1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                      kingofkings RE: LewisvilleHounder Mar 26, 2008 08:55 PM

                                      No, I believe the family (two brothers) opened the second location in Richardson two weeks ago. One brother runs Plano, the other runs Richardson.

                                      1. re: kingofkings
                                        scpenguin RE: kingofkings May 12, 2009 03:02 PM

                                        I agree that Pho Mac is delicious. I haven't been able to bring myself to try anything else on their menu (after perhaps 8 visits), because I seem to always be craving their pho! The fresh lemonade is very tasty.

                                      2. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                        irodguy RE: LewisvilleHounder Jul 2, 2009 07:41 AM

                                        Pho Mac originally had three locations that I know of. Josey & Beltline ( believe closed after the move to Plano) and Richardson. It's the same family. While I don't think they are the best in DFW by any stretch they are reasonably good and on my way home. I stop by there frequently and get to go. They are always supper friendly and funny enough one of the few Pho places that refills your water and understands service.

                                      3. re: kingofkings
                                        Salinger1 RE: kingofkings Jul 9, 2011 06:18 PM

                                        If you're looking for PHO specifically in Plano, TX. Pho Mac is hands down the best Pho in Plano.
                                        Very pure, clear, piping hot broth. Very friendly staff and a cool fish tank.

                                        Pho Mac
                                        3100 Independence Pkwy Ste 310, Plano, TX 75075

                                      4. adkim RE: ryansupak Mar 25, 2008 04:20 PM

                                        There is a relatively new place called I (heart) Pho located around MacArthur and 635. Not the best bowl I have had (the former Duy Tan still holds that honor), but certainly one of the better bowls I have had in Irving and/or Carrollton.

                                        Note: I haven't been able to try the many Vietnamese restaurants around 183/Beltline area yet. So my claim may be premature.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: adkim
                                          LewisvilleHounder RE: adkim Mar 26, 2008 07:21 AM


                                          I liked the Bun Bo Hue at Pho Republic in Irving. Large restaurant, not very many people though but great spicy Bun Bo Hue....I actually added about 1/8 bottle of sirracha and a plate full of jalapenos. So mine was a bit spicer than most could probably handle. The meat mixture had all the typical pho meats represented plus a blood cake.

                                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                            Epicurious Esquire RE: LewisvilleHounder Mar 26, 2008 07:40 AM

                                            I love bun bo hue, but I generally find it to be very, very greasy. Was Pho Republic's bun bo hue particularly greasy?

                                            1. re: Epicurious Esquire
                                              LewisvilleHounder RE: Epicurious Esquire Mar 26, 2008 10:25 AM


                                              not at all.....I saw very little grease if any on my bowl of Bun Bo Hue there at Pho Republic. This is also one of the few places that seem to give you all of the pho meats and a few extra additions. Be warned just the broth itself w/o any accoutrements is very spicy.

                                              1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                                Epicurious Esquire RE: LewisvilleHounder Mar 26, 2008 11:27 AM

                                                I'm salivating.

                                                Do they have good banh xeo? My buddy Vinh's mother makes the best banh xeo I have ever had. It ranks with any food I've ever had anywhere.


                                                1. re: Epicurious Esquire
                                                  LewisvilleHounder RE: Epicurious Esquire Mar 26, 2008 11:49 AM


                                                  I am mistaken it is no longer Pho Republic but rather Pho Empire. Below is the website for the place. I don't rememebr Bahn Xeo on the menu and did not see it on the menu on the website.


                                              2. re: Epicurious Esquire
                                                foodology RE: Epicurious Esquire Apr 11, 2008 02:12 PM

                                                There's a very good bun bo hue place in Richardson. I can't recall the name but it's at Campbell and Plano Rd.

                                          2. x
                                            xileas RE: ryansupak Mar 27, 2008 10:14 AM

                                            Hands down pho bang or pho bac in garland and richardson. best broth..not to overly sweet nor to bland. meats are tender i always get the pho dac biet when at pho bang.

                                            1. e
                                              Epicurious Esquire RE: ryansupak Mar 28, 2008 09:41 AM

                                              Do not go to Pho Huy at the SW corner of Main & Greenville in Richardson. I just ate there and it was disappointing.

                                              I ordered Goi Cuon. They were terribly rolled. The peanut sauce had the consistency of H2O. The nuoc mam was devoid of shredded carrots (yum!). They were bland and thoroughly unappetizing.

                                              The Pho experience was not much better. I am still astonished they put the basil on my table. It was mottled with age and looked to be at least 48 hours past acceptable condition. The jalapenos had the spice of a green bell pepper.

                                              The broth was thin and relatively flavorless, but at least it wasn't offensive in any way. I will say this - it was as fat-free as any pho broth I've ever enountered.

                                              I've had similar experiences at Pho Huy, but I was starving and it was 1015 am, so neither 1st Chinese nor King Noodle were open.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Epicurious Esquire
                                                fishfry RE: Epicurious Esquire Mar 28, 2008 11:25 AM

                                                That is truley a shame. At one time that was the best Pho in Dallas, of course there wasn't much competetion back then. That is where I had my first bowl. 10 years ago you had to get there early for lunch because it filled up, they always had more meat in the Pho than any of the other places around. I ate there a year ago and it wasn't terrible, just not the same, the broth was way to sweet.

                                                1. re: fishfry
                                                  fishfry RE: fishfry Mar 28, 2008 11:38 AM

                                                  One more thing, 1 time I walked into the kitchen on the way to the restroom and saw the giant, I mean big, kettle the broth is made in. I asked how long many batches come from the kettle and the guy said he didn't know, because they just continually added water/ bones and stuff to keep it going. Maybe it's time to drain that big ass pot.;

                                                  1. re: fishfry
                                                    blessed02 RE: fishfry Mar 30, 2008 10:37 AM

                                                    My father says to never, never eat pho after 2pm. You eat pho for breakfast and into mid-day, preferably on days when it's grey and clouded over outside. But after 2pm, you're always going to get the dregs.

                                                    1. re: blessed02
                                                      Epicurious Esquire RE: blessed02 Mar 31, 2008 11:25 AM

                                                      I almost always eat pho before 1030. I work for myself, so I can take my "midday" meal whenever I want. There is no better way to break your fast!

                                                  2. re: fishfry
                                                    Epicurious Esquire RE: fishfry Mar 28, 2008 11:58 AM

                                                    Long ago, Pho Huy used to be my Pho House of choice. I was very, very disappointed to see how far it has fallen.

                                                2. ginger7949 RE: ryansupak Mar 29, 2008 07:14 AM

                                                  I'm not really an expert but I am in love with Pho Bistro on Frankford and Old Denton in Carrollton, next to the starbucks. They have great pho, great bun and amazing goi cuon and a similar rice paper roll with pork sausage in it - YUM - the noodles and veg are chilly and the pork sausage is nice and warm, great contrast. their peanut sauce is good enough to eat out of the bowl with a spoon. They are family owned, young couple and SUPER friendly - They'll explain anything you want to know on the menu. clean kitchen from the looks, they even have boba tea if you like it. I always get the fresh lemonade or the hot jasmine tea (served whole leaf - not tea bag) in a personal pot - Very inexpensive
                                                  blows que huoung away. their only downfall is that they don't serve banh mi - but I guess that just confirms how good the pho is. Try the house special pho with everything. yummy - think I'm gonna go for dinner tonight.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: ginger7949
                                                    LewisvilleHounder RE: ginger7949 Mar 31, 2008 10:26 AM

                                                    They also have a location in Lewisville that is on Garden Rdige & Valley Ridge unfortunately they are always closed it seems. The hours posted aren't what they follow. I have tried going 3 times after my first initial vist...all the times closed. My wife and I now just make the trip to Carrollton (Beltline & Josey) that way if we don't want Viet we have First Chinese BBQ!!

                                                    1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                                      ginger7949 RE: LewisvilleHounder Apr 1, 2008 07:35 AM

                                                      I think that location is shut down. I'm not 100% sure but that is my impression. By all means, it is worth the drive!!

                                                  2. j
                                                    JT3 RE: ryansupak Feb 15, 2009 05:51 PM

                                                    Pho Que Huong in Richardson's China Town rocks. I've been to a lot of other places that only offer one kind of pho, and I guess if that's what you're used to, then you wouldn't like a choice of many different styles. But I like the variety.

                                                    They offer clear broth, like consomme', and rich broth, with lots of star anise, cinnamon, clove and ginger. Plus, you can get rice noodles, clear rice noodles or egg noodles. And their meat selection is unparalleled. You choose from any cut of beef from filet mignon to tripe, meatballs, even oxtails, plus shrimp, calamari, scallops, roast chicken, boiled chicken, or pork.

                                                    You may find pho as good somewhere else, but you will never find anything better. To all those naysayers, I say Pho Que.

                                                    1. j
                                                      jmellby RE: ryansupak Feb 16, 2009 07:40 AM

                                                      My wife is the Pho fan and her favorite so far is at Mei Mei China at 405 Legacy Drive.
                                                      This is a combined Chinese - Vietnamese place, and she thinks this is the
                                                      best Pho we've tried yet.

                                                      1. Carrollton Foodie RE: ryansupak Apr 6, 2009 10:48 PM

                                                        In Carrollton try Pho Express on the south side of Beltline just east of Josey. It's a very attractive and clean restaurant and the pho is very good. It's one of my favorite comfort foods.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Carrollton Foodie
                                                          LewisvilleHounder RE: Carrollton Foodie Apr 7, 2009 04:13 AM

                                                          My wife and I used to eat there all the time. We have had every place on that corner Pho Pastuer, Pho #1 (this one always changes), Pho 2006, and Pho Express. We decided on Pho 2006 after my barber said a friend of his runs the place. We couldn't be more pleased. I have to drive all the way from Lewisville to get decent pho (not as good as Garland and Arlington). They do have some very authentic dishes hidden away on their menu and more people seem to dine at 2006 than Express....don't know why they just do. The service is about the same at both. If you get to where you can order some items in Vietnamese and ask what specific food items are in Vietnamese they appreciate you more for trying.

                                                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                                            Carrollton Foodie RE: LewisvilleHounder Apr 9, 2009 08:47 PM

                                                            One year my New Year's resolution was to try every restaurant on or near the corner of Beltline/Josey, but I didn't complete my goal. I need to start working on that again. And now we have all the new places near Carrollton Plaza Supermarket and Super H Mart to add to the list, plus the Indi/Pak places. When I moved to Carrollton 20 years ago I had no idea that it would one day become foodie heaven!

                                                        2. o
                                                          obuibo RE: ryansupak Apr 14, 2009 01:26 AM

                                                          Mr. Chopsticks is probably the worst restaurant I've ever been to. Yet protesters were weeping in the streets when the old building on Fry was being bulldozed, seemingly unaware that the new location was open for business and serving garbage as usual.

                                                          1. s
                                                            snatex RE: ryansupak May 11, 2009 09:24 AM

                                                            I had a pretty good bowl of pho last week at a place called Pho Hung in Arlington. Anyone else tried it?

                                                            Pho Hung
                                                            2216 New York Ave
                                                            Arlington, TX 76010
                                                            (817) 860-8981

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: snatex
                                                              sl1 RE: snatex May 11, 2009 10:30 AM

                                                              I think Oishi on Wycliff between the tollway and Maple does a pretty good job.
                                                              Has anyone tried Mangos on Midway around Spring Valley?

                                                            2. j
                                                              jindomommy RE: ryansupak May 13, 2009 11:10 PM

                                                              I'm still mystified at what people see in Bistro B. Some of the absolutely worst Vietnamese food that I have ever had in my life. What is up with their deconstructed bun? Their buon cuon was awful and their pho just plain bad. Awful...just awful.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: jindomommy
                                                                LewisvilleHounder RE: jindomommy May 14, 2009 07:13 AM

                                                                I am on the haters bandwagon! With all the flags and signs I think everyone gets distracted by all of that and don't focus on the food that much. La Me is not very pretty. It is cozy but they don't have any flags, but the food sure gets high praises on here.

                                                                1. re: jindomommy
                                                                  air RE: jindomommy May 14, 2009 07:50 AM

                                                                  Agreed. Stopped going there after finding that Doan restaurant, which is a short distance away. Food and service is much better.

                                                                2. d
                                                                  DFDubster RE: ryansupak Jul 1, 2009 02:58 PM

                                                                  Pho Bang in Garland used to be the pound for pound best but they haven't a little bit in the past couple years.

                                                                  Pho Bac in Richardson is my choice now, broth is just right and the meats are all fresh and tender which reminds me of the quality pho you can get in Houston.

                                                                  1. c
                                                                    cissylee RE: ryansupak Jul 2, 2009 06:53 PM

                                                                    Pho Bang (Garland) is the best on their good days, but lately Doan (across the street from Pho Bang) has been winning me over. Pho Bac (Richardson) is very good too but they are a little stingy with the meat. I sure do miss Duy Tan.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: cissylee
                                                                      DFDubster RE: cissylee Jul 10, 2009 12:57 AM

                                                                      I always liked my pho proportioned evenly, one time I did the get giant bowl at pho bac and it was like Thanksgiving. You might wanna give your carnivore taste buds a chance on their biggest bowl.

                                                                    2. s
                                                                      Salinger1 RE: ryansupak Jul 9, 2011 06:02 PM

                                                                      I really like Pho Mac in Plano at Parker Rd and Independence. Pho 95 is very good too.

                                                                      As the original poster mentioned: Houston is a Mecca for excellent Pho. I lived in Houston's down town "little Vietnam" district and excellent Pho could be found on every corner.

                                                                      I live in Dallas now and agree whole heartedly, Que Houng is not Pho. What Que Huong is serving is hot, painfully salty, powder-based grease water. They serve less and less broth/meat/shrimp/pork and increase the amount of cheap noodles. You end up with a bowl of cheap noodles and they end up with your $8.75. Avoid.

                                                                      Pho Mac
                                                                      3100 Independence Pkwy Ste 310, Plano, TX 75075

                                                                      1. twinwillow RE: ryansupak Jul 11, 2011 06:24 AM

                                                                        Although I like Bistro B, lately I've been going to the relatively new Pho Colonial on Frankford just east of the tollway. You can choose from an entire list of ingredients and, two bowl sizes.
                                                                        The kitchen is 100% Vietnamese and all the food is delicious. I've been seeing a lot of Asians eating there. So, thats you're first sign it's going to be good.
                                                                        I love my pho with beef tendon, meatball, and shrimp paste.

                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: twinwillow
                                                                          air RE: twinwillow Jul 11, 2011 06:33 AM

                                                                          Pho Colonial's pho is somehow worse than Pho Que Huong's, almost as foul and horrid as Bistro. The bland broth lacks any detectable beef or star anise flavor notes and is cloyingly sweet. Doesn't seem like they did a good job skimming it either as the top was pretty scummy. Also one of the most expensive bowls of pho I've ever encountered. They also charge like $8+ for a banh mi that is pretty disappointing. All things considered, it's pretty terrible and wouldn't recommend the place to anyone.

                                                                          You also gotta try Pho Bang and Doan unless you just prefer to stick around N. Dallas. Also worth mentioning Pho is for Lovers as they are producing one of the best bowls of pho in the whole area. I would put them right up there with Pho Bang and Doan. Some may like hearing that they are located south of 635.

                                                                          1. re: air
                                                                            Webra1 RE: air Jul 11, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                                            air - Glad to hear that about Pho is for Lovers. I was excited to hear about another option that is closer to home.

                                                                            I had a really strange/awful banh mi at Pho Colonial a few months ago. Mine had an off tasting pate (either bad or pure chicken liver maybe?), bread that had a weird flavor to it (reminded me of fresh laundry for some reason), and lack of veggies/herbs that didn't seem to be marinated enough.

                                                                            Leslie Brenner just named it one of the best places for banh mi, so I wonder if it's improved.

                                                                            1. re: Webra1
                                                                              air RE: Webra1 Jul 11, 2011 12:02 PM

                                                                              Webra, their broth is the cleaner bodied variety (like what Doan does if you've been; and if not we'd better change that.) except with meatier and bonier flavor with real subtle notes of anise. They also have a pretty interesting Korean BBQ topped banh mi.

                                                                              Pho is for Lovers is also priced appropriately for that area. In other words, a bowl there costs more than what they charge at Pho Bang/La Me etc. But as far as prices, keep in mind that unlike Colonial, I'd vouch you're truly getting what you are paying for.

                                                                              Doan Restaurant
                                                                              3530 W Walnut St, Garland, TX 75042

                                                                              1. re: Webra1
                                                                                Webra1 RE: Webra1 Jul 12, 2011 11:10 AM

                                                                                So I went back to Pho Colonial today for a second try since the first time was a few weeks after they opened.

                                                                                Tried the Pho for the first time. Got it with rare tenderloin. The broth was so salty I couldn't eat it. It had plenty of star anise, but so much I couldn't taste other flavors. The broth was much darker than I'm used to seeing, so maybe they had let it cook down too much. The noodles were a bit undercooked so I didn't like them. The meat was tender and decent, so I just picked it out of the soup and left the rest.

                                                                                Also tried the banh mi with deli meat and pate. The bread was better this time (no off flavor). I wish they served the bread toasted, but it was fresh. The pate was really salty and had too much chicken liver flavor for my liking. (The website says they use goose-liver. Does that ever taste like chicken liver?) Also, they shred their carrots and radishes too thin, so you can't enjoy the nice crunch and flavor of a thicker cut. The deli meat seemed liked a higher quality than most places, but it didn't really matter. They just use a small amount of plain mayo.

                                                                                My favorite place for this type of sandwich is at La Me and I was comparing it with what I like. For those that don't like that style (toasted bread, very mild and creamy pate, five spice flavored mayo, lots of thick cut, nicely marinated carrot and radish), perhaps they would prefer this one.

                                                                                1. re: Webra1
                                                                                  twinwillow RE: Webra1 Jul 12, 2011 06:52 PM

                                                                                  I think part of the problem for some is that Pho Colonial was meant to serve Caucasians. And I think their recipes possibly reflect that. Maybe that's why I've enjoyed the (few) bowls of Pho I've had there. However, I've not found them too salty for my taste.

                                                                                  As I've said, I'm more than willing to learn because I've always preferred the original ethnic variety vs. the ersatz. This weekend we're determined to suck up the smoke and visit Pho Bang or possibly, Doan.

                                                                                  1. re: twinwillow
                                                                                    air RE: twinwillow Jul 12, 2011 08:31 PM

                                                                                    All about the ersatz virility.

                                                                                    1. re: twinwillow
                                                                                      LewisvilleHounder RE: twinwillow Jul 12, 2011 10:02 PM

                                                                                      I don't believe Doan is smoking or at least the two times I have been in the last two weeks have not been smokey at all.

                                                                                      Doan Restaurant
                                                                                      3530 W Walnut St, Garland, TX 75042

                                                                                      1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                                                                        twinwillow RE: LewisvilleHounder Jul 13, 2011 04:03 AM

                                                                                        @"air". My friend and I both want to avoid smokers. I know "LewisvilleHounder" personally and have always trusted the 'Hounders opinions without question. So "air", In your opinion, do you think the pho at Doan would be just as good without the smokers as Pho Bang would be with the smokers?

                                                                                        Doan Restaurant
                                                                                        3530 W Walnut St, Garland, TX 75042

                                                                                        Pho Bang Restaurant
                                                                                        3565 W Walnut St Ste A, Garland, TX 75042

                                                                                        1. re: twinwillow
                                                                                          air RE: twinwillow Jul 13, 2011 06:36 AM

                                                                                          If smoking is that important for you, I'd suggest just going to Doan then. Think you'd be happy with the pho at either place, but I'd say bring a big group for dinner too so you can share several dishes.

                                                                                          I also regularly go out to eat and have beers with LH and Mrs. LH if that means anything to you.

                                                                                          Doan Restaurant
                                                                                          3530 W Walnut St, Garland, TX 75042

                                                                                          1. re: air
                                                                                            twinwillow RE: air Jul 13, 2011 10:39 AM

                                                                                            I understand. We'll probably end up at Doan if that's the case. One of my friends is very "anti-smoking". Btw, Mr. & Mrs. LH know me fairly well. I think the world of them!

                                                                                2. re: air
                                                                                  Scagnetti RE: air Jul 12, 2011 07:52 AM

                                                                                  From where I live now, I can't bring myself to drive north of 635 for a bowl of pho and I like the shit out of pho. I'll drive north for FCBBQ but that's about it Asian-wise and that's why Pho Is For Lovers is a good'un for me.

                                                                                  When I lived in the White Rock area, I routinely went to Bistro B and Pho 95 which was my go-to pho place. The service at Bistro B always made me homesick for the surly service of the Chinatown restos of my youth.

                                                                                  1. re: Scagnetti
                                                                                    twinwillow RE: Scagnetti Jul 12, 2011 06:59 PM

                                                                                    I can certainly appreciate and agree with the last sentence of your above post.

                                                                              2. b
                                                                                Benjamin.L RE: ryansupak Jul 11, 2011 11:44 AM

                                                                                What's the best option if you don't want to go too far from downtown or East Dallas?

                                                                                I've had excellent pho in Arlington, at both Pho Palace and Pho Pasteur.

                                                                                Pho Palace

                                                                                Pho Pasteur

                                                                                Pho Pasteur Restaurant
                                                                                100 W Pioneer Pkwy Ste 158, Arlington, TX 76010

                                                                                Pho Palace
                                                                                2126 S Collins St, Arlington, TX 76010

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Benjamin.L
                                                                                  xileas RE: Benjamin.L Jul 11, 2011 08:43 PM

                                                                                  Hands down pho bang or pho bac in garland and richardson. best broth..not to overly sweet nor to bland. meats are tender i always get the pho dac biet when at pho bang!

                                                                                  1. re: Benjamin.L
                                                                                    cissylee RE: Benjamin.L Jul 11, 2011 09:27 PM

                                                                                    pho bang (garland). pho bac (richardson). vietnam (east dallas close to downtown).

                                                                                  2. twinwillow RE: ryansupak Jul 11, 2011 09:17 PM

                                                                                    Ok, ok. I'll try Pho Bang, Doan, and Pho For Lovers just to see what air is raving about. I'm always willing to learn.
                                                                                    Air, do you recommend a particular order in which to try these restaurants. Not in the same day, of course.

                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: twinwillow
                                                                                      air RE: twinwillow Jul 12, 2011 05:58 AM

                                                                                      No particular order but you should probably know a couple things:

                                                                                      -Pho Bang is tiny and be prepared to rub elbows with strangers. Very divey kind of place and not good for a big group.

                                                                                      -For Doan, I would suggest going with a group (a la what you did for Nam Hua) and have dinner. I've barely scratched the surface on the menu since I've only had limited opportunity to go at night, but they have some really good dishes on that dinner menu, particularly clay pot catfish.

                                                                                      -Pho is for Lovers is mainly a take out spot meaning you will be served in disposable containers. It's also pricier, but you aren't driving out to Garland and they are using better quality beef than most pho joints in town.

                                                                                      Doan Restaurant
                                                                                      3530 W Walnut St, Garland, TX 75042

                                                                                      1. re: air
                                                                                        twinwillow RE: air Jul 12, 2011 07:19 AM

                                                                                        Thanks. I'll try Pho Bang. I'm not afraid of "rubbing shoulders" with strangers. I'm originally from NYC.
                                                                                        I'll try it with a friend this weekend sometime. Would you like to meet us there?

                                                                                        1. re: air
                                                                                          LewisvilleHounder RE: air Jul 12, 2011 10:07 PM

                                                                                          If you can stomach mystery pig parts of undescript origin then try the Long Heo. Only cut I did not like was the liver but everything else was quite tasty. The salads are good but I would recommend the Goi Vit (Duck salad with cabbage and Vietnamese coriander) over the Goi Ngo Sen (Lotus Root Salad). The lotus root was almost non-existent compared to the Nam Hua version.

                                                                                        2. re: twinwillow
                                                                                          amokscience RE: twinwillow Jul 12, 2011 07:23 AM

                                                                                          Hopefully Pho Bang won't be randomly closed on the day you decide to visit. It's also filled with smoking but the pho is as good as everyone says in my opinion.

                                                                                          Pho Bang Restaurant
                                                                                          3565 W Walnut St Ste A, Garland, TX 75042

                                                                                          1. re: amokscience
                                                                                            twinwillow RE: amokscience Jul 12, 2011 07:29 AM

                                                                                            The smoking could be a "deal breaker". I hate cigarette smoke more than "air" hates Bistro B.

                                                                                            1. re: twinwillow
                                                                                              air RE: twinwillow Jul 12, 2011 07:54 AM

                                                                                              Ah yes.. I forgot about the random closures. That happens with Pho Bang for mysterious reasons, but it hasn't happened this year yet.

                                                                                              Pho Bang Restaurant
                                                                                              3565 W Walnut St Ste A, Garland, TX 75042

                                                                                              1. re: air
                                                                                                cissylee RE: air Jul 12, 2011 08:19 AM

                                                                                                well, the closures aren't really random that much. they are closed during chinese new year EVERY year, and last year in september the owner's mother in vietnam passed away so they had to go over there. love, love, love pho bang!

                                                                                        3. twinwillow RE: ryansupak Jul 13, 2011 04:22 AM

                                                                                          From the current City of Ate blog......


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