Pho Goodness offers a menu of authentic Vietnamese dishes.
I find ratings without explanations can be misleading or confusing.
For those taking a quick glance:
FOOD - 5 stars incredible
SERVICE - 3 stars solid
VALUE - 4 stars outstanding
AMBIANCE - 4 stars outstanding
I've visited this establishment a handful of times since I discovered it in my neighbourhood in July. This is a very small mom and pop casual establishment so I don't expect table cloth 5 star dining service or decor. The decor is sparse/non existent but it is clean, airy, has roll up windows facing the sidewalk and an open kitchen (nothing to hide) which I appreciate. I don't think it is fair to hold it against a restaurant if they are small and are too busy to accommodate a seating. If a restaurant is busy, I generally take it as a good sign they are doing something right ^_~ I just try to visit outside of the typical lunch and dinner hours.
*Bun Bo Hue - Okay in a bind but honestly, the same soup is more flavourful and satisfying at Pho Central down the street on Davie. I am guessing that the base used for this soup is the same as the pho so i will avoid the soups and enjoy the other yummy items on their menu
*Grilled chicken sandwich - delicious & fresh, warmed bun, the grilled meat is well seasoned and not greasy
*Grilled chicken salad roll - same delicious and fresh ingredients found in the sandwich. It's notable that they didn't use vermicelli as 'filler'. Dipping sauce tasted like chinese plum sauce thinned with some fish sauce and maybe some other seasonings. This will make it more palatable to people note familiar with traditional Vietnamese nuoc nam dipping sauce yet not offensive to traditionalists (I'm of Vietnamese heritage myself)
* Iced coffee - rich & full bodied, no strange flavours such as 'irish cream' flavoured beans
* Mango Shrimp Salad - An incredible value at $4.75 . They could charge $8 (or $7.99 :p ) and I would still consider it fair for the combination of nutrition & flavour found in this dish. My favourite menu item by far. I look forward to trying the green papaya shrimp salad and chicken cabbage salads
* Vermicilli bowl with grilled pork and Spring Rolls - delicious & fresh
* Rice plate with Spring roll and grilled chicken - well seasoned and fresh, not greasy
My friends and I are very pleased to have such a wonderful eating option in our neighbourhood. I won't order the soups because I can find a better version of my favourite Bun Bo Hue down the street but look fwd to trying their curry and other salads on future visits!
number 3 roll rocks!!! love bbq pork inside and peanut butter sauce!!! ordered beef noodle soup and there was aloooooot of beef. However my clothes smelled like beef soup after staying there for a half hour.So I picked up the rolls haha but it was still good the sauce was still warm.
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.