Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pho Hoang: Vietnamese Cuisine & BBQ on Kissena

I veered from my usual Vietnamese favorite, Pho Bang, to eat at Pho Hoang, the other Vietnamese spot right next door (on Kissena Blvd across from the Flushing Library).

I never really liked Pho Hoang all that much, despite the cleaner and more spacious interior than Pho Bang. The food has always taken way too long and the wait-staff has always been curt and unfriendly. Additionally, I get the impression that Pho Hoang is Chinese-owned, where as I'm sure Pho Bang is authentically Vietnamese (just a hunch).

But, as I love to continuously update my knowledge of the surrounding environs, I said "what the hey," and gave it another shot. And this time, the waiter was way friendlier making all the difference in the world!

After looking at the menu for a while, since I hadn't been in probably a year, I finally ordered what I thought was my Vietnamese favorite: vermicelli noodles with greens, topped with your choice of meat (I don't know the Vietnamese name, but Vietnamese Cold Noodle Salad works).

But when the order arrived (albeit, after a good,long wait), I realized that I goofed. In this case, the goof turned out quite nice in the form of greens on one plate and marinated, barbecue pork on top of "rice stick," which was like thinner, stringier vermicelli noodles stuck together in sheets, on the other. Then there's a side of pickled radish. The greens are used to wrap up the barbecue/rice stick in, much like Korean BBQ (Samkyopsal or Kalbi). This dish is #163 on the menu, under the heading "Vietnamese Cuisine."

As an aside, I must confess that above all else, I love Vietnamese iced tea and coffee. Unfortunately, it seems like I'm always eating Vietnamese for dinner, and since I'm sensitive to caffeine, I try to avoid these treats that late in the day. Instead, I just enjoy the quintessential, complimentary pot of hot jasmine tea found in just about all Vietnamese places.

All in all, my dining experience at Pho Hoang left a far superior impression on me than that of times past. I'll try it again sooner than later.

Pho Hoang
41-01 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11355
(718) 762-6151

Price: $5-10 / person
Service: C+
Interior: B-
Food: B+
Recommended: Yes

*notice* Vietnamese dishes often make plenty of use of cilantro. If you don't like cilantro, make sure to let the watier know before hand, when placing your order. Otherwise, check out Pho 32 & Shabu, which I reviewed here, where they always put the cilantro on the side for you to use if you please.


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3 comments:

MasterOfDomain said...

Pho Bang is definitely Chinese run if not Chinese owned. They're actually a local franchise/chain with a few locations in the city.

I don't think the leaves used in Vietnamese cuisine is cilantro but Vietnamese basil or coriander.

Like the blog. I'm a local myself.

Ready Go said...

Sorry about the delayed response. I asked the manager/owner at the desk and he told me that he's Vietnamese, but your right that doesn't necessarily speak for all the branches.

Thanks for your comments and keep reading!

MasterOfMyDomain said...

My bad. I forgot that alot of Vietnamese are also ethnically chinese.