On my way back to the freeway from one of my meals at Motor City Deli, I noticed Pho 46. I recalled eating here when it was Cafe Kashmir, which was not a good experience and I was kind of glad those photos never turned out. Pho, on Miramar.......I wasn't quite sure since my experience with pho on this stretch of road hasn't really been good. Still, nothing wagered, nothing gained, right?
So a couple of days later I dropped by for lunch.
And the winner of the "most generic pho shop design is....." I mean really. However, I wasn't here to admire the feng shui, design, or anything like that, nor was I here to enjoy The Price is Right which was blaring away on the television.
The guy working here; who really looked familiar was quite friendly, the prices for most (not everything) was quite inexpensive. I'm sure you could get a mixture of proteins, but as a whole, it's either rare beef OR well done beef OR meatball. When I mentioned this to my good FOY (Friend of Yoso) "Yummy Yummy" she said, "just like Vietnam....". I'd gotten so used to American Pho, I'd forgotten.....
So I got the Pho Chin ($5.75):
I was somewhat surprised by this bowl, it caught me off guard. It was much better than I thought it would be. The broth, though light on beef flavor, was fairly low on salt/msg, which made all the other flavors, be them ever so faint come through. The beef seemed ot be brisket, had not fallen to pieces, and had good flavor. The noodles was a tangled, overcooked mess, and the sprouts and herbs sparse, but I expected that. Still, this was not bad at all.
While I was eating, three Vietnamese women came in, one of them was really loud. apparently they had ordered before arriving and once the food came out proceeded to attack this plate of chicken wings with loud, somewhat scary, finger-lickin' good aplomb. I had ot find out what they heck that woman was attacking so I asked the guy. He told me it was Butter Wings. Based on how the trio were enjoying their wings, I just had to have me some of that, so I did. The wings ain't cheap, $4.25 buys you four. They are very standard in crispness, perhaps a bit on greasy side and mild in flavor. By no means bad, in fact decent, but definitely not worthy of such a reaction by the three woman wrecking crew. If I were the owner, I'd have these three back everyday....they'd either get you the upsell, or nauseate the heck out of you.
As I left, the gentleman told me that the best wings they have are the Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt.....hey, talk about just up my alley.
So I decided to return a couple of days later........the television yet again tuned to the Price is Right.
I ordered my wings, but it was too hot for soup so I went with te Shrimp Fried Rice ($6.50).
Much like the pho, this fried rice left me surprised. It wasn't fantastic by any means, but was a good by-the-book fried rice. There were 8 shrimp and though I thought it needed a bit more soy sauce, I felt it was a good value for the money; I'd have it again.
As for the Wings ($4.25):
These were much better than the other wings I'd had; a lot more flavor, less greasy, though I could have done without the wok-scald. It won't make me forget about other versions I've had, but was definitely not bad.....though at this price, over a dollar a wing, I'm not sure it's worth it. Still, not overly battered, a bit of spice, decent flavor, these weren't bad at all.
So, if you have hankering for some pretty inexpensive shrimp fried rice and some kind of expensive wings, or have the need to watch the Price is Right, this might be the place. Nothing fancy, nothing amazing, but many items are simple and a decent value. The guy working here is on the friendly side, though he wasn't too amused when he revealed where I'd seen him before; Com Tam 75....I had a real foot-in-mouth moment when I replied, "oh, is that place still open???"
9508 Miramar Rd
San Diego, CA 92126