Sherman's Food Adventures: Phở Pasteur

Phở Pasteur

I know you've heard me complain about high food costs these days, whether it be groceries or at a restaurant.  It is truly becoming unaffordable to eat out and if you aren't careful, you can blow your budget after one meal!  So where can one grab a quick bite with the fam without sacrificing your kid's college fund?  Well, even Vietnamese joints are no longer that cheap.  However, there is Phở Pasteur on Hastings in Burnaby.  Hidden on the 2nd floor, this place use to be So Crab, So Good.

All we needed was a cheap quick meal and this place seem to fit the bill (sorry for the pun).  We kicked things off with the Spring Rolls and we were pleasantly surprised they used rice wrappers rather than wheat.  This is the way it should be in my opinion because the crunch and texture is very different than wheat.  It is in some ways crunchier while having a light chewiness.  Inside the pork and veggie filling was tender and moist while nicely seasoned.

We also had the Deep Fried Chicken Wings that actually came at end of the meal (maybe they were defrosting them?).  These were fried aggressively where some of the the sugars had burnt a bit.  However, that was a good thing as the caramelization was sweet and smoky.  The fish sauce really came through as the wings were well-marinated.  The skin was rendered nicely, hence the skin was crispy and not flabby.

For myself, I went for a large Phở Đặc Biệt for only $12.00.  When bowls of Pho are going for close to $20.00 these days, this was very reasonable.  They didn't skimp on the amount of noodles and meat either.  I thought the broth was a bit muddled but it still had meatiness with a star anise finish.  Meats were plentiful but some were cut rather thick.  A bit less refined, but they were still tender nonetheless.

Viv ended up with the Spring Roll & Grilled Chicken Vermicelli Bowl.  This was a fairly good portion of soft, yet still chewy rice noodles with the same aggressively deep fried spring roll.  The grilled chicken was marinated well with lots of flavour as well as colour on the outside.  Perhaps it was a bit wet before it got onto the grill as it didn't caramelize as much as it could've.  The byproduct was some residual juices that helped flavour the noodles.

Staying with chicken, my son had his usual in the Lemongrass Chicken with Rice.  He didn't opt for the fried egg because it was $2.00 extra.  He didn't want to spend the money for one egg (actually it was my money and I appreciated his frugalness).  So the grilled chicken was no different than the one in the vermicelli bowl.  It was tender and moist with plenty of sweet salty brininess.

My daughter made it a trifecta of chicken when she got the Grilled Lemongrass Chicken Noodles.  Nothing more to add about the same chicken here.  As for the broth, it was pretty clean and mild-tasting.  The noodles were al dente and not clumpy at all.  In general, this and all the other dishes we had were fine and good value.  This would not be my first choice when it comes to Vietnamese eats in town, but it does the job and not for very much money.

The Good:
- Inexpensive
- Does the job
- Friendly people

The Bad:
- A little less refined than other spots


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