What's the best type of food to have when it's snowing up a storm outside, your gums ache from having your wisdom teeth removed and your friend still insists on going out? Why, hot, soupy noodles, of course! And more specifically pho (pronounced fuh, as in fun), the tastiest soupy noodles around. Having tried most of the more popular pho places downtown and being unsatisfied with the quality, we decided to check out Pho Tay Ho in Saint-Edouard.
So sorry for the long delay! As I mentioned previously, I recently got my wisdom teeth removed, so I've been off solid food for a while. Also, I forgot my camera again, so I had to rely on crummy phone pics. At least the lighting wasn't too bad in the restaurant, so you can have some idea as to what the food looks like...
|Le chipmunk face, post wisdom teeth removal|
Accessibility - Grade: B
Pho Tay Ho is definitely located nowhere near downtown, but it's around a 5 minute walk from Beaubien metro, and it's located on St-Denis, so it's pretty accessible. Hey, if I could make it there with snow blowing in my face and a snow plow chasing after me, then it's definitely accessible.
Service - Grade: C
I haven't been severely disappointed in the service at a restaurant in a while now. The waiter who served us seemed very angry from the moment we sat down to the moment we left. He was very curt, and often didn't say a word when he brought us our food or took our order. He seemed to ignore us when we tried to hail him, and didn't check in on us at all. However, the girl behind the cash was pleasant enough, which was a relief. I'm usually not picky with service, but if it's bad enough to disrupt my good mood, then it's definitely bad. Still, I've yet to find a pho place where the service is actually good...
Food - Grade: B+
I haven't tried that many pho places, but out of the ones that I have frequented, this is one of the better ones.
|Three-colored bean drink|
|Espresso and condensed milk|
|Rare beef salad|
|Rare beef salad|
|Chicken and Beef pho|
The pho itself was also quite different from the ones I've had at other restaurants. For one, the broth was much more fragrant and much less salty than the broth found at other pho places. The taste of MSG was also much less prominent. Since this restaurant specializes in chicken pho, they use chicken broth for the soup, and they add lemongrass and a bit of ginger to it to give it a bite of spice. The noodles also seem fresher than the ones found at other pho places. While they do tend to clump, they are also springier and more elastic than the typical pho noodles, so they may actually be using fresh rice noodles instead of dried ones.
|Chicken and beef pho|
Price - $$
The prices are a bit steeper than other pho places. It's around $8 for a small bowl of pho here, whereas at other places, it's closer to $6.50. Still, the quality justifies the price, and $8 is still very affordable. We ordered two three-color bean drinks, one espresso and condensed milk drink, one order of imperial rolls, one rare beef salad, two large chicken and beef pho and one large chicken pho, and the price before tip came up to around $50. So with tip, it would come up to a bit less than $20 per person.
Final Grade: B
On the one hand, the food was very good and the menu refreshingly different from the downtown pho restaurants. On the other hand, the service here is just as unimpressive as its downtown counterparts (or maybe I just have the worst luck when it comes to pho restaurants?). Still, until I find another equally interesting pho place, I can see myself returning here in the near future.
Pho Tay Ho
6414 Rue St-Denis, Montreal