Sunday, September 19, 2010

Au Petit Cafe

There was a line up at the Pho place at Main and 33rd, Au Petit Cafe. Is it just the yuppie influx, or has this place suddenly gotten amazing? I'll have to go back and check it out; I remember it having a nice room, but being a solid 6/10. . People seem to be going there for the banh mi rather than the Pho, though, so maybe that's it.

Will report back.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

'Pho Sho

This isn't a review, but more of a request. Pho Restaurants, like hair salons and pet grooming places (I'm talking to you, "Wizard of Paws", Winnipeg, MB) are famous for their names, often puns.

Has anyone come across anything really great? Or better yet, if you were going to open your own Pho restaurant, what would it be called?

Just a few to warm you up

Pho Eva (TO)
Pho Finish (LA)
Pho Kenny (Kingsway) - its not a pun, its just silly
and of course the legendary
Pho Btch Nga (RIP, Kingsway)

Contest winners get a bowl of Pho at a restaurant in a city of their choosing.

Secret Cheap Pho Score!

Bau Chau

rating 8.5/10

2717 Hastings Street E
BC V5K 1Z8

cash only

M-S 10am-10pm

Interesting Features

Maybe not interesting, but useful. 6.50 gets you the large Pho tai, including tax. And its excellent. They are supposed to specialize in spring rolls, but I'm not seeing a major difference in the standard fare. Their lunch sets, (skewers+rice+chicken, etc) however, are better than average, and still under 9 bucks all in.

Its big and roomy, does busy lunch, popular with the city officials who show up en masse in work casual khakis. Leslie Snopes would give it the thumbs up. Good for families, too, they took on 4 toddlers at one table without panicking. It has a nice 1970's hair salon feel to it, spacious, rec-roomy, yet still cheerful.


Its next to that creepy 'Family Style' restaurant, and I avoided it forever because I thought they all the same place. Look closer, they are definitely not.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pho Le Do

rating 7/10

2292 Hastings Street East,
Vancouver, BC V5L1V4
(604) 253-3508

cash only

M-T, W-S 11am-10pm

Interesting Features

Kind of feels like an old diner, except its Pho. Small, in a nice comfortable-no-one-will-ever-find me kind of way. You and your hangover can hide out here in peace. A good "solo Pho" venue.

Decent Pho Tai. Nothing really stand out on the menu, but everything done fast, hot, and in pretty big portions. Owners are lovely. 'Le Do' does means polite in Vietnamese. Good Banh mi for take out.


Closed Wednesdays. Why?? Why?? Nothing is better than a Wednesday pick me up bowl of Pho. The crushing disappointment of biking all the way there, only to be denied, is horrible. So be warned.

What happened, Thai Son?

Thai Son

rating 6.5/10

2800 1 Avenue East #230
Vancouver, BC V5M4P1
(604) 255-6436

cash only

M-Sun 11am-10pm

Interesting Features

Mega fast service, always competent Pho, until recently. ( See below.) They belong to the lemon wedge vs lime wedge side on the Pho accessory plate, which is fine. Super nice, a waiter once chased me down two blocks because I forgot my bag. Pretty busy, but never any waits. Pho specialists, but the rice dishes all look good.

House specialty is a hot version of Pho with pork knuckle in it. The waiter was unsure if this is what I really wanted, and then did a very sweet imitation of a pig stomping its foot to make sure I understood what it was all about.


The eye-blinding fluorescent light never gets any less shocking. I would not recommend bringing a date here, though interestingly, the place always seems to be packed with people on first dates. I guess after scrutinizing their pores and watching them spray noodles everywhere, things can only get better.

Thai Son, what's going on? I've been there twice in the past week, both times, borderline bad Pho Tai. Luke warm, old sprouts, and I don't think the bowl had been really cleaned before I got it. Oy. These guys used to be awesome, but there's some slippage going on. Come on, Thai Son, you were the go-to Pho on Broadway!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pho Thai Hoa

Rating: 8/10

Location: 1625 Kingsway

Hours: 8am to 10pm
M - Sun

Payment: Cash/Interac/Credit Cards

Interesting Features

The interior decor seems to have taken inspiration from near by auto body shops on the Kingsway, with a lot of airbrushed mountains and clouds.

Really beautiful menu, there's a picture and explanation for everything. The picture was not taken in 1984, either.

Menu Standouts

They specialize in chicken Pho, (Pho Ga). But the menu looks really strong, from the fruity avocado drinks down to the banh mi. The Pho Tai (small) was huge, with super fresh raw beef, really flavourful soup, and about a pound of basil, sprouts, and chilies. Awesome.