It seems that the good weather we've been having has finally caught up to Summer Sunday morning hockey (you can tell this was written like a month ago...). For the longest time, it seemed like an extended Spring up until the end of July. I don't mind the cooler temperatures; but the rain. Even for a Vancouverite born and raised, this was getting a bit ridiculous. So with the warmer weather, the ice rink looked more like the Golden Gate Bridge (covered in fog). Well, at the very least, I had an excuse for letting pucks by me... So after our game, I had the bright idea of going for a steaming hot bowl of Pho. Hot Pho on a warm Summer day. Oh why not? They do it all the time in Vietnam right?
I suggested we meet up at a place I've been to lots - Pho Van. When we arrived, it was apparent that the name had changed to Pho Long. However, the laughing cow was still on the yellow awning as well as the menu (which still read Pho Van incidentally). The neon lights were still there, so were some familiar faces on staff and also the big screen TV. Now on that TV, they were playing the Vietnamese version of Dancing with the Stars. That was quite interesting. It was like watching the US version; but with Asians. Very strange; but the ladies were attractive and some of the outfits... When did a bikini suddenly pass for a ballroom dance outfit? Oh right, I should be talking about the food...
So Kaiser Soze finally decided to join us for food since we were nowhere near the Downtown Eastside. He went for the Pho and it was a pretty decent portion. Noodles were al dente while the meats were tender. Problem being was that the broth was extremely light and only slightly sweet. It had no depth whatsoever. That was the problem with my Bun Bo Hue as well. It may have looked flavourful; but the soup was very flat. No spice and no real hit of anything. I could only detect the faint taste of lemongrass. Ultimately, it was bland. Too bad really. The noodles were good while the meats were plentiful. The perfectly cooked pork knuckle was a nice surprise though (since many versions of Bun Bo Hue here do not have it).
Milhouse went for the Vermicelli Bowl with grilled pork and spring roll. Once again, the portion size was more than generous. In fact, we were marveling over how large the spring roll was. Maybe we were marveling too much so, it got awkward... Size is one thing though. The spring roll was not good. It was stiff (I'm using the wrong adjectives here...) and instead of being crunchy, it was hard. Er... The grilled pork was good though, it was only a tad dry and quite flavourful. However, that can't describe the rest of the food we had. Definitely quantity over quality here for sure. Not necessarily a bad thing if you are hungry and don't have a lot of cash on you.
- Large portions
- Low prices
- Lots of neon
- Soups are bland
- Overall execution is average