Overall Rating 6/10
7 days a week 10:30am – 9:00pm
Our first pho restaurant along the way was this past week was Pho Tan Restaurant. We love pho, both of us and Nixon love pho, a lot. A user on Reddit, u/ruddiger22, warned us about all the pho coming up and we were excited about that.
Pho Tan is a nice little restaurant with maybe about 12-15 tables. It’s not big by any means but we all know that means nothing in terms of quality. We were welcomed nicely by a gentleman and sat at our table. Tea was brought immediately and we were given menus. The service was off to a good start.
We weren’t super hungry this day but we obviously had to order some pho. It was the perfect pho day too, cold and rainy, or as we call it, just another day in Vancouver. We decided to order one other item on the menu to see how the rest of the menu was. Our order was two items: large pho with steak & brisket and banh cuon (ground pork wrapped in Vietnamese steamed rice roll).
Our pho sides came right away with the regular sprouts, lime, jalapeno and basil. Sam and I like to do our pho differently. We prefer our pho slightly differently. I like to add sprouts, lime and spice coming from the jalapeno. Sam likes to add sprouts, lime and spice from the hot sauce. We both love hoisin sauce also.
The large pho came in a big bowl and easily fed the both of us. Anyone who has ever had pho knows it is all about the broth. Without a good broth, no pho is complete. This broth was good. Just good. Not the best pho we’ve ever had but definitely not the worst. The broth was good and that’s the most important part.
The banh cuon on the other hand was not good. If any of you are like Sam and are texture eaters, you will not like this. I could only get through one before I had had enough. The menu describes the dish as “ground pork wrapped in Vietnamese steamed rice roll” so I expected to have a roll presented in front of me when the dish came. Expect they weren’t. they came more as patties. You can see in the picture how they were presented. The taste was okay. The roll itself was pretty tasteless but the texture was what got to me. I’m usually okay with any texture but the roll was extremely “gummy”. Like, stick-to-your-teeth-like-taffy-does gummy. I got through one so I could get the whole taste but I didn’t even know how to eat it. Chopsticks with one bite? Pick it up with my hands? Ask for a fork and knife? I broke it into pieces with my chopsticks and ate it that way. If I ate it wrong please let me know. In the end, the banh cuon left the table with only one of them eaten. It came with four.
The value was quite good. We felt $10 for enough pho to feed two people was more than generous. We had no problem paying that amount for the amount of food we got. $7 for banh cuon though was a little much at almost $2 per “roll”. But if you’re going to Pho Tan we assume you’re ordering pho anyways.
The service was good. We were seated right away and brought tea immediately as I mentioned earlier. On the other hand, when we asked for ice water we had to ask twice before we got any. I’m assuming our server just forget and it wasn’t a huge deal.
One thing to note before you go to Pho Tan is that they are cash or debit only. No credit cards. There is also a $5 minimum charge per person.
In the end, we would return to Pho Tan but only for the pho.
Food 7/10 – one good item and one not good, only get pho
Service 8/10 – not outstanding but no complaints
Kid friendliness – high chair, no kids menu but the kids ate what we ate
Decor 6/10 – nothing special
Value 8/10 – good for the pho
Never stop adventuring!