There seems to have been a little "pho-splosion" in the Midway/Sports Arena area. I really don't get down here very much, so I tried to pay a bit more attention when I drove down to Embargo Grill. I noticed two, well actually three (more on that later) more pho shops in the area. Since I had already done a post on The Pho Shop and Pho Point Loma, I thought why not do the other two, right?
Pho Thyme? Why? Well, I guess there's already a Pho Time in PB. I truly hoped that they weren't putting thyme in their pho. This place was strange enough when it was Jiggle Jiggle Korean Grill.
The interior of the place is pretty much the same.
The menu is a single sheet thing; you can order Pho Bo or Pho Ga and add 3 proteins for $6.25 for a small bowl, $7.25 for the large. Or you can be lazy like me and order the Dac Biet, which ain't cheap at $8.25. Remember those salad days when Pho was like five bucks?
The best thing about this bowl was the broth; while the kitchen went a bit too far in defatting it; the broth had a nice clear, rich color. The flavor was on the mild side, but you could make out the beef flavor, and it wasn't very salty.
The worst thing about this bowl were the noodles, which were terribly overcooked and mushy.
The protein was a mixed bag. The rare steak was ok, but the flank was really tough, and the brisket mushy, with a slightly "off" flavor. There was however, to my surprise, a couple of pieces of decent tendon, perhaps a bit on the chewy side, but not bad.
This was a fair bowl, very middle of the road, but not terrible. A safe choice.
Actually, the best thing about this place was the very friendly and accommodating young lady who was so nice, even to some really trashy and rude customers. And then there was the guy who looked like Larry the Cable Guy on a bad day, who ordered his pho "dick bite". Now if you don't even have a chance at pronouncing it right, why bother? Though I almost snorted broth out of my nose.......I wish they would have given him "dick bite". I won't go into the parents who left their kids in the car while they shared a bowl of pho.....
3146 Midway Dr
San Diego, CA 92110
Pho Little Saigon:
Man, this one is easy to miss, tucked between a Payday Loan and a Acupuncture Shop.
This shop is very tiny, though it could really pass for some generic pho shop anywhere in the US, it seemed to have all the trappings, from the wooden tables, to the green chopsticks and combo spoon holder.....I'm sure there must be a number and name for it in the pho owner's catalogue somewhere.
The gentleman running the place was very reserved but efficient.
Of course I ordered the Extra Large Combo - $6.95.
To get to the point; this broth was not to my taste, it had that bitter flavor that happens when the shallots and onions are too charred when making the broth. It also lacked even the mildest of beef flavor and was on the salty (msg) side. This had ot be the worst bowl I've had since Pho Mignon. The color and the murky look of the broth should have been a warning sign.
The beef cuts were ok and the noodles were prepared adequately.
But when all of that is in a broth like this it's hard......
Nice enough folks and all....but perhaps less said the better, huh?
Pho Little Saigon
3445 Midway Dr
San Diego, CA 92110
So for my money in this area it's:
1 - The Pho Shop
2 - Pho Thyme - corny name and all
3 - Pho Point Loma
4 - Pho Little Saigon
So what about the other shop.....well for some reason, I'm having a mental block.....
Sushi Pho Sure? Pho-real?