Pho Hoa, a Vietnamese Café tucked away in an obscure area on Independence Avenue, prides itself on serving organic and healthy cuisine.
Despite Independence Avenue’s run down appearance in some areas, it has a reputation for housing authentic ethnic cuisine. Pho Hoa, at its Independence Avenue location, received promising ratings on restaurant websites such as www.urbanspoon.com and www.yelp.com, persuading me to try Vietnamese food for the first time.
Even The Pitch accredited Pho Hoa as an excellent Vietnamese restaurant, “if you can find it.”
Pho Hoa’s interior is tidy, which is welcoming for customers. Each server is of Vietnamese or Asian descent, providing an even more authentic experience. Previous customers were allowed to write about their dining experience on the walls of the restaurant in black marker, garnished with statements like “I <3 Pho!” and “Awesome food, gr8 service!” No matter how long you scan the statements on the wall, there are no negative comments. Others raved about the excellent service, but mostly how it’s the “best Pho in town.”
You will be seated promptly and cheerily, immediately brought a glass of water, and offered the option of ordering an organic smoothie or bubble tea. The mango smoothie is delicious, but rather pricey, at about $4 per smoothie. This is almost the price of an entire meal (depending on which size you order), so unless you’re craving something sweet but healthy, you may want to forgo the tropical drinks.
The appetizers are traditional and reasonably priced. I ordered the shrimp rangoon because I have absolutely no self control when it comes to seafood or fried food. It’s just like your traditional crab rangoon: incredibly irresistible and a necessity when eating any Asian course.
Since I’ve never eaten Vietnamese food before, I was confused when I opened the menu and didn’t necessarily understand what the terminology meant. If you’re not familiar with Vietnamese cuisine, the server will most likely explain it to you. My waiter was extremely helpful and explained what each menu item consisted of, which made me more comfortable with my order.
The menu is primarily divided into noodles in broth with various meats and excellent seasonings. There are also special sandwiches and cooked meats with a side of rice.
I tried several items on the menu since my friends all ordered different meals; the sandwich was excellent, and my main course, Cơm Gà Nướng Chả Giò, was chicken cooked in the perfect blend of spices along with a fried chicken roll. There was a side of rice as well as cucumbers and tomatoes to accent the meal. This made me feel healthy and comfortable with what I’d ordered. You can’t feel bad about yourself when you’re eating a cucumber slice. There’s simply no way.
This is a restaurant where you simply cannot go wrong with whatever you decide to order. It was a pleasant dining experience with a comfortable atmosphere and delicious food. If you’ve never tried Vietnamese cuisine before, I highly recommend it.
The service is excellent, and if you’re a student, they will be happy to discount you 10% on your ticket. If you’re ever craving something authentic, this is the place to go. I guarantee that you will be begging to write a message of praise about your experience (like all of the previous customers) on the wall before you leave.