I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t like a good bowl of pho. Pho – for those not in the know – is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup usually made with chicken or beef. It may not sound like much, but when it’s good, it’s magical. Pho is a very popular street food in Vietnam, and demand is continuing to grow here in Dallas. With the popularity of pho on the rise, I set out to try three different pho restaurants in search of Dallas’s most pho-nomenal bowl.
The first restaurant I ventured to was called Pho is for Lovers, which is located on Greenville Avenue. The interior, while quite small, was very nicely decorated. That in itself isn’t necessarily indicative of the food’s quality, but it’s nevertheless something I always appreciate. At Pho is for Lovers, you order at the counter, and they bring the food to your table fairly quickly.
Their standard beef pho was surprisingly authentic and extremely flavorful. The broth tasted clean and smooth, and all the ingredients seemed fresh. Their side dishes, like their summer rolls, were very tasty as well. I didn’t like that we had to get our own drinks and our own utensils, because that’s typically a setup I associate with fast food. Other than that, the only thing I disliked was the size of the restaurant. While the food is amazing, there’s absolutely no way you can eat there with a party of more than 4 or 5 people. There are no tables to accommodate such a group. If you’re just going with a couple of friends, however, I would recommend Pho is for Lovers in a heartbeat.
The next restaurant on my list was 45 Mint, a Vietnamese bistro on Preston. 45 Mint was larger than Pho is for Lovers, though not as well-decorated. In fact, the decor was rather generic and uninviting. The service – which consisted of one woman who worked as both hostess, server and busser – was friendly, though a little haphazard.
For consistency, I ordered the beef pho again. The food came after only six minutes, so I guess they must’ve put the rest of the employees in the kitchen. Like the decorating, the food wasn’t as great as Pho is for Lovers. It was flavorful, but not as much, and the broth was too heavy on the black pepper. There was also a disappointing amount of beef in the bowl. If you can get past these flaws, though, it’s still some pretty good pho.
My final restaurant (loose interpretation of the word restaurant here) was Pho Kitchen, located at the food court in the NorthPark mall. It was about as good as you’d expect food court pho to be. The broth tasted weak, and the ingredients weren’t as fresh as they were at the other two places I visited. If you’re going to Pho Kitchen, opt for a noodle bowl instead. My companion ordered one, and it was actually pretty tasty.
Overall, I have to say that Pho is for Lovers was by far my favorite. While there are a couple negatives I noticed there, none of it had to do with the food. If you’re going to eat pho, head on over to Greenville Avenue for the best bowl.
Pho is for Lovers
5521 Greenville Ave #105, Dallas, TX 75206
14902 Preston Rd #512b, Dallas, TX 75254
Monday-Thursday 11 A.M. – 3 P.M., 5–9 P.M.
Friday-Saturday 11A.M. – 10 P.M.
NorthPark Center, 8687 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75225
Monday-Saturday 11 A.M. – 9 P.M.
Sunday 12-6 P.M.
Amanda Kim – Managing Editor