Sherman's Food Adventures: Pho Ba Mien

Pho Ba Mien

*Restaurant is now closed*

Normally I'm not one to participate in eating challenges.  Yes, I do often order the biggest and baddest burger on the menu, but I never even attempt to finish it.  Hey, I want to enjoy my food, not loathe it.  Besides, my appetite has definitely decreased since my teenage years.  Back then I could eat a whole 10 piece of Church's chicken in one sitting...  as a snack (and the pieces were bigger back then).  But there is one thing that I have wanted to see come up to Vancouver, which is the Pho Challenge.  Ever since my visit to Pho Garden in San Francisco, I've been waiting for a place to offer it up here.  Finally, I heard Pho Ba Mien on Kingsway was game.  But to my utter disappointment, my visit was too late - they discontinued it.

Therefore, Rich Guy, Rich Girl and I ended up eating from the regular menu.  I decided to go for the good ol' Pho Dac Biet.  We all gave the broth a sample and it had a strong star anise flavour.  I would say it was decently flavourful, but not balanced.  The meager amount of meats were okay and ditto for the stinginess on the rice noodles as well. Instead of participating in a Pho challenge, this bowl of pho challenged me to not order more food.  Therefore, I also tried the Grilled Chicken Banh Mi, which was not bad.  The bun was toasted and crusty, while the chicken was sufficiently moist. It could've used a bit more pickled daikon and carrots though.

Rich Guy had something similar in the Grilled Chicken, Sausage and Egg on Rice.  Huh?  Yes, there was breakfast sausage in this dish.  We weren't really sure why this was the case, but it very odd.  Was it their attempt at a quasi-Tocilog?  Anyways, the chicken was good, but lacked any lemongrass.  He didn't like the fried sausages as they didn't seem to go with anything.  Rich Gal tried the Bun Bo Hue and the soup was decently spicy and flavourful.  However, unlike the picture, it was missing the tendon and pork knuckle.  Once again, there was more soup than meats and noodles.  In the end, we agreed a return visit wasn't imminent, not because the food was terrible, rather, we didn't think it was a good value.

The Good:
- Food is passable
- The one staff member was nice

The Bad:
- Portion size is modest at best
- What happened to the Pho Challenge???

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