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Restaurants & Bars 2

Primo's, Tacoma - Thanks, Irwin plus Pho 38 (long)

Pancho | Oct 27, 200311:58 AM

On a weekend trip to Tacoma to refuel the 18 year old, we ate at Primo's on Friday night, thanks to a recommendation on this board. Thanks, Irwin!

After a 25 minute wait (we didn't have reservations), we started with Fried Oysters and Bread Salad (the 18 year old had skipped lunch and was ready to chew on the hostess' podium for...fiber). The fried oysters were excellent, lightly breaded, deep fried quickly and plated with watercress and garden tomatoes. The teenager allowed me one, since I was paying. The bread salad was excellent, dressed in a balsamic vinegar/olive oil dressing, with fried onions, peppers and sausages. Someone's from Philly!

For entrees, we had a pork chop and risotto. Both were OK. The pork chop had been marinated (nicely), but was a bit dry and chewy for my (Chinese) taste. It was plated with risotto that was fairly soupy, due partly to the pan gravy that had been ladled over the pork chop and...spread. The risotto was thick and creamy, but a bit too crunchy (?slightly underdone) for my taste. The teenager vacuumed most of it (well, all the toppings), but stopped short of wiping his plate down, behavioral confirmation, perhaps, that he agreed.

We skipped dessert which looked yummy. I had two glasses of merlot and we paid $87 with tip.

Saturday afternoon, after stock-up trips to Costco, Sears, you name it, we ended up at the Newly Opened (hey, that's what their sign said) Pho 38 in, I believe, the Tacoma Mall (it's near REI). For $15.38 (plus a $3 tip), we had the gallon-size bowl of Pho Ga and a Korean rice plate with pork. (I was curious how Korean food made it onto a Vietnamese menu). The Pho Ga stock was excellent, the slices of white meat chicken were generous, and the fixings (sprouts, cilantro, jalapeno) were all fresh and trimmed. The 18 year old downed it in a trice and sat there, stupified (OK, OK, maybe it was the company). The rice plate was also excellent - the pork had been marinated and fit nicely into an accompanying lettuce leaf (although sriracha hot sauce was a second best subsitute for the Korean original), the 2 Korean side dishes (spicy bean sprouts, sesame flavored bean sprouts) were fine, and the rice was hot and fresh. Drinks were slow (fresh lemonade and hot Vietnamese coffee), but the service was friendly and helpful. The 18 year old who's been missing pho (we live near San Jose) plans to make this his regular pho place (once he finds a friend with a car). I would, too!

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