Those of you who follow my experiences in food, know that I like my hidden gems and hole in the wall delights. Pho Goodness, which has just opened on Davie st, could have possibly been one of those places. I am sorry to say that I don't think that this restaurant will be able to make it unless they drastically change their quality of food as Davie St. diners are a tough bunch of people to please.
I have eaten Vietnamese food for almost two decades and have traveled to Indonesia, so I have a basis on what good Pho is. Here is my experience at Pho Goodness and you decide from it. The first time I went and stood at the counter, I was told that it would be about 15-20 minutes before my food would arrive. As there are approximately 8 tables, I was not prepared to wait that long. I left, still curious and would return the next day to see how the line up was.
My hope was that the food was good and it was going to be the next hotspot downtown. I ordered the Pho Tai (plain beef) which came to almost $ 8 dollars, a little steep for Pho, but if the broth was special, I would pay more for the experience.
The first thing I noticed was that the broth was weak. After putting in the basil, bean sprouts and lime I dug into my first mouthful. I was very surprised to find that they had soaked the rice noodles in salt water to give it more flavor to offset the weak broth. I thought it was a cheap trick to maximize profits. Not at good start.
As someone who tries to be conscious of others who might be eating this, all I could think was that anyone who has high blood pressure should not eat this. I still tried to enjoy the soup and hope that it would grow on me, but after finishing only half of the soup, I gave it up for lost. The beef was a small portion, the broth was weak and the rice noodles were salty.
I do not give it any hidden gems, nor will I go back unless I hear that serious changes have been made to the quality of the food. The broth is the heart of Pho, and with a weak heart, there is no reason to go back. Happy eating and food experiencing.