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Pho Tay Ho Newbie Review

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Pho Tay Ho Newbie Review

Mara | Sep 1, 2003 08:42 AM

Went to Pho Tay Ho Saturday night to see if, in fact, it was substantially better than the Vietnamese I have had in Manhattan (specifically the Baxter Street trio and Saigon Grill). Ordered summer rolls, spring rolls, shrimp paste on sugarcane, a curry, and a bun with beef, and ended with a rainbow ice (red beans, green very hard gelatin chunks, shaved ice and sweet coconut milk). Apart from the summer rolls, which tasted overly chewy and like they'd been sitting under saran wrap for a very long time, the food was good, but not swoon-inspiring. The flavors of Vietnamese food are pretty consistent throughout all these venues, it's just a matter of how one prefers their preparation, or the specific ingredients used. I did not like some flavor in the spring rolls: they tasted almost like liver of some sort, a bit gamey. The curry was quite good but did not come with the crepes I so enjoy at other restaurants, used to scoop up the sauce and vegetables. And the bun was good, filled with tons of pickled vegetables, shredded lettuce, fresh vermicelli noodles, and a decent amount of grilled beef, but again did not particularly stand out above the rest. In my opinion, while traveling to the far reaches of Bensonhurst (86th Street and 24th Avenue) for Vietnamese is a fun adventure in itself, if I am equidistant between this and Chinatown options, I'd probably choose the latter. But as it gets colder I will definitely return for their pho, as Sietsema says it's the best around, and in the meantime I might just need the avocado shake I didn't have room for this time. If anyone has been here recently and really loved a particular dish, I'd love to know.

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