It was fairly cold and rainy a couple of weekends ago and I found myself in Santee. It was still too early for Sab E Lee 2, but I was kind of hungry. So I decided on heading down the street a bit. I had never been to Pho Ca Dao in Santee, so I thought "why not"? Though I didn't make that decision without some hesitation since my recent luck, with pho hasn't been that great. Still, there wasn't much else that I really wanted in the area at 9 in the morning.
The place was a lot larger than it looked from the outside and the fragrance....or should I say the pho-ray-grance of soup hung in the air. Nice,bright and clean. The young lady who showed me to my table was very nice as well.
I decided on the eternal #4....everything but rare steak.
Though there was but a single sprig of basil, there was Ngo Gai (Culantro), and the young lady told me if I wanted more basil.
The broth was pretty neutral, slightly beefy, not as much anise and clove hints as I had experienced at the other locations. Still, it was not bad.
The noodles were fine...typical clump and all.
What was really surprising for me was the amount of tripe....well prepped tripe, crunchy, without soapy or foul flavor. The tendon was good, though not quite as tender as the ECB location.
All in all, I thought this place better then the Mira Mesa location. Even more surprising.....I thought this was better than any Pho I've recently had on Convoy. Kind of sad actually......
Pho Ca Dao
9535 Mission Gorge Rd
Santee, CA 92071
Mon-Thu, Sun 9am-9pm
Fri-Sat 9am-9:30 pm