Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pho's Little Saigon

When you think of Saigon, your mind no doubt goes to the one part of the Fort that screams Asian influence....Ridgmar Mall. Just north of Ridgmar Mall in some shopping center is a little jewel of a place, named Pho's Little Saigon. A commentor recommended this place a long time ago after my Pho-Nam-enal review. As promised, I listened and went to this west side favorite.

I have to start off by saying that I have never been in Vietnam while US jets fly low over head, with a radio playing the latest American classics and interrupted only by Robin Williams yelling at me. For that matter, I have never been in Vietnam. But this is probably pretty close to what it was like being there during the Vietnam War, except that you'll most likely, not die. As you sit in the dated, obviously Asian decorated restaurant, Flo Rida rhythmically tells you about the boots with the fur and all of a sudden the peace is broken as a jet roars over the restaurant to land at the nearby runway. It's all about ambiance.

One thing I love about hole in the walls is they way they get by with basic stuff. For example, the menus look like high school book reports with the same little binding you used when you needed to cover for your lack of substance. Luckily these menus aren't covering for anything. The food here is terrific.

Unfortunately, larb is not on the menu, but they do have a delicious beef on vermicelli, beef fried rice, beef pho, and shrimp spring rolls. My favorite so far is the beef fried rice, which sounds dull, but its very "better than whatever your blog is touting". Plus its huge. So you can share it with your neighbors. The pho was good but personally, I'm a Pho-Nam fan and I refuse to change. The beef on vermicelli is very popular among people I know, but I enjoy the other dishes more.

Take that's for whats its worth - you can trust people I know that you should most likely doubt, or you can order what I have had. Which will only increase your trust in me. And my power over you.

Pho's Little Saigon is very good and despite the fact that there are only two waiters, you generally get your food the same day you go. If you attempt to locate this place, look for an "Import Liquor and Tobacco" store. It will be near that. I'm not sure how that's helpful. So here's the address: 6942 Green Oaks Road.

If you've been, let me know what you think. If you haven't been, then give it a try. Do not try the "Good Morning Vietnam" bit when you go. Nobody laughs and your coworkers begin to judge you.

This post was made in quasi-tribute to Robin Williams.

Pho Little Saigon on Urbanspoon

25 comments:

David R said...

Pho's Little Saigon is better than any Viet place in Haltom City or Arlington in my opinion. The spring rolls, phos and buns are as good as any place I've been in San Fran, Vegas, New York or LA. I have been going for roughly 4-5 years and they have gone thru numerous owners and/or management. It was shut down for several months last year and if you pull up the health code records you will see 40-50 in violations on more than one occasion (raw chicken stored in a spare sink, excessive flies, food stored on the ground next to cleaning supplies). Despite the poor rating I've been back several times since it's reopened. Last week I went for lunch, there was only three diners but only one table was open (the other 15 or so tables were dirty and full of dishes). My buddy grabbed the one open table and I went to the bathroom. The bathroom was nasty, there was no soap or towels so I went to the womans restroom, there was soap but no towels. The storage room next to the bathroom was a mess. By the time I walked back into the dining room my buddy was walking out the door....there was no way we were getting waited on. Like you said there were only 2 employees for easily 20 tables. They don't have time to buss the tables so how much time do you think they spend cleaning? I guarantee there would be 50 violations at any given time. The sad thing is I would consider going again tomorrow...just need to get there before the lunch crowd. It's still my favorite viet place.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

As with any good hole in the wall, if your fork doesn't stick to the table, its not worth a revisit.

Ladies and gentlemen, you've heard it from an honest poster - the place is authentic. Get there before it becomes trendy to eat in filth. Imagine you're one of the freecyclers. But pay when you leave.

David, thanks for reading and posting.

Michael Bourgon said...

Ha! I've been going there for years, and every time I go it's mostly empty but my food is waiting for me. I think the food may be a little better at Pho Hung, but that may just be the lack-of-health-violations talking.

Also of note, nearby, is Sonny's Diner. It's next to Jason's Deli on Camp Bowie, and the food there is quite good as well. And they let me bring in my daughter and her happy meal, which some places won't. (Yes, she likes the noodles. No, she doesn't really like the rest)

Michael Bourgon said...

Correction: Pho Hung got 29 points on their last health check. (30 closes a restaurant temporarily)

hope n laughter said...

Hahaha. That's hilarious. I used to have a place like that. It was called Sunny's Grill located on the corner of Main and Long. It was this itty bitty place that would definitly quailfy as a hole in the wall. It could hold up to 20 standing and packed inside. From the outside it looked filthy and from the inside it got even worse. Grease everywhere you could see. The cook just scraping the fat/juice just to the side of the grill and had been doing it for some time since it had formed a solid border, but thier burgers were AMAZING. Sigh the sad part is they must have changed owners/cooks because it's just blah now.

Kim said...

The fiance and I found this place one afternoon after a matinee at the Rave at Ridgemar. We both really enjoyed the food (and while service was slow, it wasn't horrible). I'd recommend this place. I think every time I go there I get the Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup) but I'll definitely try the beef fried rice next time.
I'd also like to recommend Lieu's Vietnamese restaurant. Delicious!

Michael Bourgon said...

That's right! Lieu's, which is also next to a movie theater (albeit over in Lake Worth). They have good food, too. And with amazingly friendly service.

Sven said...

I stopped by this place last night and the locks had been changed by the landlord on the 3rd, according to a note taped to the door.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Sven, thanks for the update. Does that mean the landlord reads this blog or does that just mean they didn't pay?

Interesting.

Kim and Michael thanks for the recommendation. I'll make a trip up to Lake Worth to check out Lieu's now that it appears Little Saigon will be closed for a period.

Thanks for reading

Stephanie said...

Went to Pho's Little Saigon 5 or 6 years ago. Don't think I actually ordered anything, though, because I couldn't find anything vegetarian on the menu. So . . . not much to say.

Did to to Sonny's Diner last week, though. The tofu pho was good. My only complaint was I wish it had more veggies. One Asia Bistro on Hulen had the best vegetarian pho ever, but sadly, they no longer exist.

FortWorthGuy said...

Yep....locks still on the door as of lunch time today. Something about non-payment of rent.

Matthew said...

Yeowch. The wife and me were just about to drive out there tonight. Thanks for saving us a trip. Here's hoping they open again.

Guest said...

Pho's Little Saigon is good.. it's the only one taste good in fort worth city.. went there yesterday, they are opening.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I visited there tonight (Mar 31) and we had the best viet meal! We had spring rolls to start, I ordered steak pho and he ordered beef fried rice. The broth in the pho is really much better than that which I've had in Arlington. I very much enjoyed the spring rolls and the tea (perhaps a white green blend) is divine whether hot or cold.
We both ate our fill for under $20. The restaurant was clean and the service was friendly even if we had to let them know we were there. We also heard while they were closed someone took some of their large cooking pots and all of their trashcans. Everyone should go and take a friend so this wonderful place can stay safely in business and even get a few more giant pots.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

You heard it here first - Pho's Little Saigon is back in business sans pots and trash cans.

Thanks Guest and Anonymous for the update.

Ginny said...

I ate there last week--well actually I got mine to go--and the vermicelli bowl with pork had a lot of flavor, much more so than either My Lan or Pho Bella in Haltom City. My feet didn't stick to the floor or anything, so it seemed clean enough to me but I didn't check out the restroom. There were two young men waiting tables and I thought they did a good job. I plan to go back to try their pho, as the flavor of that can really tell you about the quality of the place.

Dan said...

I went to Pho's today and found the place clean and the food excellent. My friend and I were Vietnamese food rookies, and the waiter was very helpful in explaining how to eat pho.

An important point to note: Pho's is, as the blog post says, on the NORTH side of Ridgmar. Google Maps says it's in a strip mall to the south of the mall, but Google Maps is a filthy liar. Don't let that deter you from a tasty meal.

Anonymous said...

I've tried many Phos around the DFW area and I have to say Little Saigon is TOP on the list when it comes to flavor and consistency! I haven't tried the beef fried rice. Maybe that's what I'll order next time.

Johnny said...

Hi David,
My name is Johnny Nguyen, I'm a new owner at Pho Little Saigon restaurant since June 1st, 2009--I'm assure you that the place overall is much cleaner so is the food--the menu is improve--both by look and selection--we now have anything from vegies-to tofu Pho, rice or vermicelli or anyway you desire--I will make it for you--I would like to invite you--or anyone have interest or just craving for the taste of Vietnam--please come and try--you will once again experience the essence called Vietnam--I'll guarantee it

Mark said...

I had my first Pho just last week in Dallas. I am hooked. Thats all it took was one meal. So I looked on the internet to see if I could find someone local that serves Pho. The one I did find was semiclose to me,but she was closed today. So I came back to my office and searched the net again. This time Pho's Little Saigon came up, and to my surprise it was even closer to me that the other one. I looked at their site and even called. So I decided thats where I was going to have lunch.
The first thing I noticed were the directions,according to the internet, and what was given to me over the phone. (Google must have the North and South arrows backwards or something.) Once I found the place it was all good. The well lit, light shades of color inside, and the waiter so eager to allow you enter, was a welcome sight. So with an empty stomach I ordered spring rolls to start and some steak and brisket Pho. The rolls were fresh and crisp, the Pho was devine. With the fresh flowers on the table to accent my lunch I have found my little section of Viet food heaven. I have worked in a few eating places during highschool and college. Truely helpful and friendly staff are hard to come by but, Vieto, my waiter, was very helpful in leading me to my choice meal. I am not a Viet food vet, so I was happy with the choices I was given. Johnny, you are truely to the word you have posted above. If anyone has not tried Pho's Little Saigon yet, you are missing your own Viet heaven corner.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

Mark, why didn't you come here first?

Mark said...

FWHITW, honestly I found your site by mear accident. When I was searching the net for a Pho place, I came arcoss your site. But nonetheless, I was happy I stumbled upon it.

Mark said...

I wanted to add that my next visit was just as awesome. I took a fellow agent from Lewisville there, and he was just as impressed as I was. I talked with Johnny briefly and was well greeted and taken care of by his wife, at least I think she was, and his staff. They also have this dessert that is so rich and flavorful, deep fried bannanas and ice cream. It was the BOMB!!
If you have not visited this place, it is a must in Fort Worth.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

They sell desserts at Pho? Fantastic - now I have a trick to lure my anti-newfoodfriends in with.

And you're right, this place is a must visit for those in the area that want some delicious food.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Anonymous said...

hello David FWHITW---Johnny from Pholittle Saigon again--I would like to thanks everybody for a nice comment--yes, we do have desert--many more selection are coming--but right now, we do have boba tea tropical fruit smothies drinks--like Mark said, we have Saigon fried banana with icecream--also New Orleans style banana foster(sautee' banana in butter and brown sugar then glaze it with a touch of rum)-but I'm happy to announce that we now have NO-CARB Pho--NO-CARB rice plate and vermicelli bowl--just simply tell any waiter to replace noodle, rice or vermicelli for steam vegies or fresh vegies on the vermicelli bowl--we're could do that for any dishes-bowl-or soup--we're also offer variety selection of vegitable and tofu dishes--from appetizer Springroll to Pho-stirfried lowmein-rice plate or virmicelli bowl even Tofu desert---yes, tofu desert
Again, thanks for your patronage-and nice comments--pleased come visit --maybe you could help us created a dish just for your own taste-Thanks