Ed from Yuma had told me about Convoy Noodle House awhile back. He'd had a good bowl of Pho' there. So since it's now getting a bit cooler I thought I'd give it a shot.
Convoy Noodle House is located in another strip mall on Convoy Street. The only business I've ever gone to here is Dede's a Sichuan Restaurant/Tea Place. The restaurant is spare and seems alot larger than it actually is.
I had made my mind up before hand that I'll be ordering Pho' - so I chose the Large #1($5.25) - basically Dac Biet, with everything.
Within 5 minutes a nice sized bowl of Pho' was delivered. The broth was very dark and rich, and I could make out the distinct taste of cloves. I really enjoyed the brisket and the generous amount of tripe. The rare steak was tasted fine. There was two types of "tendon" in this; the first nice, jellied, fatty tendon - delici-yoso. The second were thin slices of tendon that almost looked like they'd been fried, they were really tough and inedible. My only other gripe was the really chintzy amount of "garnishes" provided. I had to ask for more basil, and I wish there was a bit more variety; maybe some ngo gai. But I thought the broth was excellent, very full bodied and the bun pho' were done well, though the noodles were a bit on the thinner side than I'm used too.
A few days later I was in the mood for some Chinese-style Egg Noodle soup, but since I was close by I decided just to eat here instead. And ordered the "House Special" egg noodle soup $5.25.
This dish had a strictly routine chicken based broth, though there was a generous amount of egg noodles along with Lettuce, green onions, BBQ Pork, Fish Balls, Fish Cake, and very over cooked shrimp. The fried garlic and shallots added a nice flavor, and the noodles were perfect. Strangely, I've never had "garnishes" delivered for egg noodle soup in a Vietnamese Restaurant before, but here they are!
So having enjoyed my previous experiences, I'd finally decided to try the Bun Bo Hue ($5.25). I've had some really horrible Bun Bo Hue, and will usually check out how other dishes are before trying. So today as I walked in; I noticed the Lady usually manning the cash register (The Owner?) was eating a bowl, so I though I'd give it a whirl.
As the soup was being delivered I noticed a distinct "fishy" smell. It just so happened that along with the garnishes (lettuce, mint, bean sprouts, chilies, and lime), a little bowl of shrimp paste and chili oil delivered. The bowl was steaming hot, and the broth was pretty routine, almost like the broth I'd had with the egg noodles, except with chili oil added. There was a good amount of the spaghetti like bun, and the dish was topped with onions, green onions, and cilantro. I also noticed that the brisket used in this dish was cut alot thicker than what I'm used too, this was very tasty and enjoyable. There was also alot of fat and tendon from the brisket - delici-yoso!!! After doing an initial taste of the broth I added a squeeze of lime, some of the shrimp paste, and the bean sprouts, and proceeded to dig in. Then I stopped, there was something missing! It's not the "blood", I'd ordered it without blood, call me a wuss, but I really don't enjoy the taste. Where was the pig's feet or pork shank that's standard for this dish. After some "fishing" I found it, the pork leg was alot smaller than I've usually had, somewhat disappointing. I also took to dipping the brisket into the shrimp paste, and the blend of the salty, the spiciness, beefiness, and the texture of the meat was great. Overall a nice dish, that I'll be having alot over the winter. Unless I find a better Bun Bo Hue.
Some notes on Convoy Pho' House. Service is very fast, I can usually get out in under 30 minutes. The "appetizer sin" is also committed here; I've seen soup some out before the Cha Gio several times. Most of the customers are Asian, and there were alot of Vietnamese on the days I visited.
I guess I have one for my current rotation. Today I saw the Com Tam 7 Mon being brought out, and it looked pretty good, so I'll be having that on a day that I'm really hungry.
Convoy Noodle House
4647 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111