Recently a friend scooped me up and drove us to her favorite pho joint for lunch, which happened to be in Fairfield. The simple storefront is located on a light industrial section of West Texas next door to a scruffy liquor store. There was only one other customer at lunch time.
On this cold day, the owner seated us near the space heater in the corner. The special beef noodle soup (pho dac biet) was just the ticket. Pale yet intensely aromatic broth had the taste of the bones and wasnt mucked up by too much star anise or sugar. The tripe and tendon were cooked to just the right texture and sliced carefully. The brisket was a bit lean but tasty. The rare flank was served on a separate plate to not overcook. The herbs included beautiful basil and cilantro.
My friend asked me how Id rate this on a 10-point scale. I gave it an 8.5 as a solid effort, just missing higher marks because the bean sprouts were a bit wilted.
My friend had the grilled pork and imperial roll vermicelli plate (bun). The grilled pork was seasoned nicely and carefully carmelized. The imperial roll was just okay, not packed as tightly as I prefer. The special French sandwich (banh mi dac biet) ordered to go for dinner later was less successful. The bread was too heavy and leaden, but the fillings were quite decent. It might do in a pinch.
I was surprised that the menu offers broken rice plates (com tam) and seafood hotpots, which arent seen often outside the immigrant neighborhoods. Theres also a full line of drinks, including avocado shakes.
(Vietnamese & Chinese Restaurant)
1303A West Texas St.
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