This place is located in a not well maintained strip mall with very few redeeming qualities. Its neighbors include a transmission shop, a dollar store and I think a nail shop. Typical suburban blight, but you cant eat a building so the criticism stops there. Its nice enough inside with a few plants and pieces of art on the wall, but the cavernous interior and white painted cinder block sort of give off junior high gymnasium.
I was determined not to have a bowl of soup, but struck with indecision, I gave in. One nice option here is the choice of small medium or large. The small at 4.95 was more than enough for a meal. While the broth was not the best Ive tasted it was completely acceptable and made just fine with the addition of some soy, sriracha and sesame oil. The condiment plate was well stocked with sprouts, jalapenos, thai basil and that peppery jagged leafed mint whose name I do not know. For the meat choices I went with rare steak and well done brisket. Both were nicely textured and the thin slices of rare beef still had hints of pink to them and the brisket was falling apart with flavors of rich long cooked beefy goodness. The noodles were nice and toothsome as well and not overcooked.
The real excitement of this meal came the wifes Rice Combination dish. The most expensive meal on the menu at $6.25, it comes with the option of grilled beef or pork chop, grilled shrimp, Julienne Pork, Eggroll, Steamed Pork Pie and vegetable. A heaping plate of food with a lot of different flavors going on. The grilled pork chop was cut in an odd fashion so there was a main part and then fingers of pork fanned out on the outside. It wasnt more than about a ¼ inch thick but remained juicy and flavorful with some sort of soy/mirin marinade. The grilled shrimp were small, but a nice addition and not overdone. The Julienne pork appeared in thinly transparent sliced noodle form with small chunks of meat interspersed for effect. At first I had no idea what it was and the taste was a bit gamey and definitely not any form of pasta known to man. After a few more bites it hit my wife. These are sliced chittlins! An acquired taste I guess and maybe more of a textural item. I ate a few more bites after I knew what they were just to make sure it was burned into my memory. The steamed pork pie was sort of a Vietnamese quiche with finely ground pork, eggs, sliced mushrooms and vermicelli noodles. It was topped with what appeared to be cheese but upon further inspection it was just some bright egg yolk. Tasty and a little gamey as well, but not unpleasantly so and a nice change of pace. The egg roll was greasy, but good with a strong dose of fish sauce already permeating the filling of pork and shrimp. The vegetables were of the pickled variety and included radishes and carrots. Ive yet to meet a pickled vegetable I didnt like.
The menu is pretty basic with only a few appetizers, an extensive selection of pho options including tripe, tendon, flank, meatballs, brisket and fat brisket. In addition to the rice plate they also have vermicelli with all of the options of the above mentioned combo plate. Some interesting drinks like Salty plum soda and soda egg yolk with condensed milk are in the beverage section along with avocado, strawberry, durian, jackfruit, and soursop smoothies. Its a good place if you are looking for a few out of the ordinary pork dishes and a decent bowl of cheap pho.
1232 Bloomingdale Rd
Glendale Heights, Il