mmm-yoso!!! is the blog you are reading and enjoying vicariously. Today, Cathy is blogging because Kirk is waaay busy and ed(from Yuma) is busier than Kirk.
It is going to be a cold, rainy weekend. Some sort of soup is going to be craved. East County. Santee. I live here. We have Costco, Lowes and Home Depot, Target and WalMart, many chain restaurants, a steak house and now have two Thai restaurants, three places which serve sushi, eight Italian eateries (but more than half of those are pretty much pizza places) , seven taco shops and now, two Vietnamese restaurants. Yes. In Santee. The American home of Comedian Dat Phan. This post is about the unimaginatively named Vietnamese restaurant.
Pho Santee is in an nondescript shopping mall, just across from the Santee Sheriff Station. It used to be Royal Szecheuan/Sushi, neither of which was done very well. The menu at Pho Santee is Vietnamese -and Chinese- both are done quite well. Good enough that I come here for lunch when I have a craving instead of driving the 15-20 minutes to Convoy Street or 20 minutes Mira Mesa Boulevard. The interior here is clean and shiny (also a contrast to the old place). Two televisions, but usually only one is on.
With a little Christmas decor at this time of year...
Table settings are standard.
Pho Santee serves pho and other standard Vietnamese items (bun, broken rice, steamed rice) and some more or less Chinese items (fried rice, stir fried noodles, stir fried vegetables). .
No sawtooth. Pretty basic add ins.
Pho Ga-large ($6.65). We asked for added shrimp ($3) to go with the chicken broth (The Mister was starting to have a cough/cold/crud). The (hot!) broth was not greasy and had a good chicken stock. The noodles were not mushy and only slightly clumpy. The shrimp were quite large, as was the portion of chicken for this bowl.
BunThit Nuong-grilled pork ($6.95). Only lettuce, no fancy greens under the chilled rice noodles. The grilled pork was not crispy. It was nicely flavored and not fatty. The add in sauce was just the right amount of fishy vinaigarette (no fish sauce on the table condiments).
I like that you can order Cha Gio (fried egg rolls) either 3 ($3.99) or 6 ($5.99)...these were nicely fried, filled with ground pork and shrimp, egg, fungus and cellophane noodles. Served with lettuce and mint.
The Goi Cuon (spring rolls, we chose tofu as the filling- [all fillings (chicken, shrimp, pork or tofu) are the same price: two for $3.99-these are cut in half] filled with vermicelli noodles, mint and lettuce, these were very fresh and good. The spicy peanut sauce for dipping was very good.
Dac Biet (small)($5.85) was filled with meat, various onions, the same good and almost not clumped noodles. The broth was rich, not greasy and not overly flavored (other than beef...not much anise).
In fact, if you just want meat and noodles, this is the place. The pieces of tendon, brisket, tripe and rare beef were plentiful.
The lunch special chicken chow mein ($6)[most expensive lunch combination is $7] comes with..um.. egg flower soup (tasted beefy), egg roll (the same Cha Gio but without lettuce, mint or dipping sauce) and fried rice. The chow mein...well..excellent flavored chicken, water chestnuts and pea/carrot mix. No MSG overload and very fresh.
Pho Santee is maybe not as authentic as some of the places in San Diego. It is good, not pretentious and very good to have in East County. The people who work here are very friendly and all of them help you. We have had at least four different individuals assist with refills, questions, etc. at our table each visit.
Pho Santee 8790 Cuyamaca, Suite K Santee 92071 (619)562-5151. Sun-Th 9-9, Fri/Sat 9-10