Sherman's Food Adventures: Phố Hoàng Tung

Phố Hoàng Tung

It seems you can find a Vietnamese Pho joint anywhere. On a major street, Downtown (a few), in the burbs, a dark corner and of course in strip malls. Much like the beloved sushi restaurant, there always seems to be a small family-run Vietnamese restaurant tucked in a corner somewhere. To keep costs down, many of these establishments are remnants of former restaurants (which are usually never remodeled or renovated). Thus, we see Vietnamese food served in a dining room that looks strangely Italian or Greek. Hey, how else can you get full for well under $10.00 otherwise? Then you have the type that occupy a small hole-the-wall where the only decor consists of dollar store art. Phố Hoàng Tung fits this description to a T. Hey, I don't really mind. If the food tastes good and it's cheap, that's good enough for me.

This place is obviously a family-run operation with the son as the lone person server. He seemed quite interested in my picture-taking. I just said I like taking photos of food. Well, it's true! LOL... So we started with the Salad Roll and they were pretty large. Maybe a bit too large. You see, there was so much in the way of sprouts and lettuce, the shrimp and giò lụa were completely lost. But then again, when dipped into the peanut sauce, it gets lost anyways... so don't mind me... We also tried out the Cold Cut Banh Mi and this wasn't bad. On the positive side of the ledger, the roll was crunchy and a bit chewy. Yet, the pickled veggies were bland albeit crunchy. Lack of pate did not help the relatively blandness of the sandwich.

Like always, I went for the Special Pho with every practically every meat possible. For a large bowl, there didn't appear to be much in the way of noodles, meat or soup for all that matter. I had to ask for more soup! However, in the end, it was an okay amount. I found the broth to be on the sweeter side while the noodles were cooked properly. Meats, as little as I got were tender. Viv had the the Chicken Skewer & Spring Roll Vermicelli Bowl. Curiously, there was very little vermicelli. For something so inexpensive, it would be easy to add a bit more to give the dish an appearance of value. Despite this, the chicken wasn't bad and I must give them props for using rice wrappers for the spring rolls, although they lacked filling.

Okay, there is nothing majorly wrong with the food here. In fact, it's not bad really. Sure, we had way better Vietnamese food elsewhere; but there is nothing in the way of competition nearby. Pho Hoa is a good drive up the hill to Austin and it is really nothing to write home about either. So despite the smallish portions and somewhat average food, this place is still a viable option for those who work nearby or those on their way to catch a flick at Silvercity.

The Good:
- Friendly family-run joint
- Okay eats

The Bad:
- Smallish portions

Phố Hoàng Tung on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

Teresa said...

Surprised the sandwich was bland..that's not a good sign. Good pickled veggies should have that great mix of sour and sweet. Some good pho comfort food would be excellent for this chilly weather!

Wish you a great 2011!

LotusRapper said...

Hey Sherman,

If it's not pho, my usual Vietnamese meals consist of a vermicelli bowl, with spring roll and grilled pork. My fave at the moment is Thai Son on either E. Broadway or E. 1st. And like you, I want more vermicelli. Most restos "pad" the bottom of the bowl with shredded lettuce and raw beansprouts. I always tell the waitress to not give me that, and then add more vermicelli, plus ground-up peanuts. They usually oblige without charging me more.