Sherman's Food Adventures: Pho Chan

Pho Chan

Ever since I can remember, I've loved going for Phở.   I also remember that it was a lot cheaper too.  But with everything, there are higher material costs, higher minimum wage and just plan inflation due to those factors and of course the cost of fuel.  So I completely understand the rising prices of restaurant food.  However, there are still a few places that are still on the less expensive end of the spectrum.  Take Pho Chan in New West for instance, their prices are still very reasonable being between $10.00 - $15.00 rather than the over $15.00 at most places.  Also, I really love the name of the place (hint: my last name...).

So I gathered up the fam and made my way out to McBride for some noodles.  Before that, we had a few appies including the Crispy Pork Spring Rolls.  If you notice in the picture, these were legit employing a rice paper wrapper.  Many places default to wheat wrappers and that is mostly due to convenience.  These were extremely crunchy and that made the difference in texture.  Inside, the filling consisted of tender pork, onions, carrot, vermicelli and wood ear mushrooms.

We also got the Prawn Salad Rolls, which were decent in size and wrapped tightly.  The rice wrapper was nicely hydrated, but still chewy and not wet.  Inside, there was a good deal of prawns that had been halved.  They had a good natural aroma and were meaty with a snap.  The iceberg lettuce was fresh and crispy while the addition of pickled carrot added more crunch.  The ample amount of peanut sauce on the side had just enough hoisin for sweetness.

For myself, I didn't actually go for Phở.  Instead, I had the Dry Egg Noodle with Seafood.  Reminiscent of the dry noodles at Phnom Penh, these were topped with fried cuttlefish balls and fish along with prawns, squid and imitation crab stick.  The egg noodles were perfectly al dente and dressed in a sweet soy.  I found the fried items a bit greasy though.  The ample amount of ingredients made this actually filling.

Viv went for the Rare Beef and Brisket Phở.  This was a fair portion for a large costing $12.50.  I believe this has to be one of the least expensive bowls of Phở in town (especially since it is decent).  I found the broth to be clean and on the lighter side.  Definitely could taste the sweetness and some background meatiness, but I would've liked a bit more punch.  Noodles were cooked perfectly and the meats were tender (and fairly ample).

My daughter ordered the Phở Ga and it was topped with some fried shallots.  As such, it was rather aromatic which compliment the sweet broth nicely.  Again, it was clean and on the lighter side.  Definitely not salty by any means.  Since the chicken was free range, it was a touch chewy (but to be expected). Once again, the noodles were al dente and not clumpy.  This was a small size and it was $12.00.

My son predictably went for his standby being the Grilled Lemongrass Chicken & Pork Chop on Rice (with a fried egg).  This was a huge portion for $13.50.  Also, it was very good with tender chicken and pork that was well-marinated.  There was caramelization and only a slight char.  Funny how there was more meat than rice on the plate.  So I guess you get the point here - the prices are reasonable and they don't skimp with the portion size.  Pho Chan is a good neighbourhood spot that won't break the bank.

The Good:
- Well-priced
- Fair portions
- Decent eats

The Bad:
- Broth could be more impactful



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