Pho Boy appeared out of nowhere, at least on my food radar. Good Vietnamese food is easy to find in town but I’m always willing to try a new pho spot that opens up. We decided to give PB a try during their soft opening so take everything with a grain of salt. Hopefully, things will improve once they’re officially settled in.
They’ve taken over the space previously occupied by B’s Diner. Curious to see if they’ll add some seats out front during the summertime because right now it’s dead space.
I like what they’ve done to the inside. It’s hip, trendy and cool; there’s a free arcade kiosk to waste time on, beautifully painted mural on one side of the wall and cool Pho Boy inspired posters on the other. Whoever was in charge of decor killed it. The traditional Vietnamese conical hats that are inverted and used as light covers is pure genius. There’s about 7 tables which can fit about 35 people.
As for service, there’s room for improvement. Sure, we went during their soft opening but they should at least have the basics worked out. Examples: we were brought out our order but no utensils. This happened twice! Just put the utensils out and leave them on the table like every other Vietnamese place. At the end of our meal, we were brought the bill but our waitress literally held it up and didn’t let us see it. She told us the total and then left with the bill. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen before.
The menu is small: three appetizers and two pho options. This will likely expand.
Light and fluffy on the inside, these were cooked perfectly. Oddly, they were really stingy on giving lettuce to wrap the pancakes in.
The dipping sauce was sweet and tangy with thinly sliced carrots/daikon. GET THIS in case I wasn’t clear enough.
Banh xeo ($7.00)
Sizzling crispy crepe with shrimp and pork. Another rare/hard dish to find in town (only other place I can think of is Xu Hue). We thought they’d forgot our order but it ended up coming out after our pho.
Nice and crispy exterior with an inside consisting of shrimp, pork, mung bean and bean sprouts. Again, barely any lettuce to wrap the crepe in.
Pho Boy dragon special ($12.00 large)
Beef steak, beef flank, beef tripe, beef balls, dragon balls, chicken, tendon, cilantro, green onions and yellow onions. Three sizes to choose from (regular, large and jumbo). We asked about sizes and our waitress literally brought out the bowls for us to see. LOL.
A regular here is a small, large a regular compared to other Vietnamese places in town. The broth was sweet but missing that next level of depth and complexity. I was debating using the srichcha/hoisin sauce on the table, which I never add. The beef and dragon balls were excellent; the dragon ball was one massive tender, meaty meatball.
Pho you – build your own pho ($8.00 regular)
BYOP. You pick your own noodles (there was only one option), broth (we went with satay), three types of meat and garnishes. Pretty similar to the dragon special except for the satay broth. From what we tasted, it seems like they use their regular broth, add some spice and call it satay. Unfortunately, I found the satay watered down.
Obviously, there were hiccups in service and the pho could use more work but I was a big fan of the banh khot. If they could elevate the rest of their dishes to match their appetizers, then Pho Boy might have something here. Only time will tell.
10037B – 82 Avenue