So last we talked, I was all cinnamon bun this, and cinnamon bun that, and I think I failed to throw it in there that my Aunt Jess was in town. Remember her from Fresh? I know, I know, confusing … she was living here for awhile but now she’s back in Victoria finishing up her degree. Boo. To her not living here anymore, not the degree. The degree gets two thumbs up because when she’s done rumor has it she’ll head right on back here and hang out with me all the time. Did I mention I’m kind of obsessed with her?
Anyways, she had one very specific lunch request during her trip. Pho Hung. Sound familiar? I mentioned it way back before Christmas (here) when I lamented that Mom and Dad had tried restaurant after East end restaurant in search of bun that could hold a candle to the one they used to get at Pho Hung. You know, when they were West-enders and took for granted all the great places they could walk to in 15 minutes or less. In any case, it was a request Mom was happy to oblige, so we packed into the car and headed over for a weekday lunch.
We opted not to bring our stroller … even though we arrived on the early side (11:30-ish) Mom claimed that this place is usually jammed. Plus, Stella is now rocking a highchair, so we weren’t going to need the stroller for her lounging purposes while we got our chow on. That said, it wasn’t super busy at that time on a Wednesday, and we probably could have found a spot to park without much of a problem. If you plan on hitting up Pho Hung between 12noon and 1pm, or at any time for dinner, I wouldn’t count on being able to park your ride tableside … they have maximized the number of tables they can fit into the space, which doesn’t leave much wiggle room.
Now before we get to the highchairs (aw hell … let me make is short and sweet: we asked for two and got two pronto … wooden, functional, maybe not sparkly clean, but whatevs) I’ve got to mention the customer service. From the minute we walked in the door it was all hands on deck, of the shaking hands, kissing babies variety. And I’m the first to admit that Stella and I make a pretty cute pair, but you could tell the staff just really liked kids. One woman even held Stella … made a beeline for Mom, grabbed her, and did the whole coochy coochy baby thing. Kind of. Stella was totally digging it. Takes kid friendly to a whole new level. Come to think of it, it was the kind of kid-centric customer service I haven’t experienced since my last trip to Lahore Tikka. And let’s face it, I love me some attention. :)
Ok, so now the food. My last foray into Vietnamese cuisine wasn’t exactly a slam dunk, and I’m afraid to say that this time was no different. Mom and Aunt Jess both ordered BÚN CHẢ GIÒ CHAY (aka: deep friend vegetarian springrolls on vermicelli) and shared some cold vegetarian springrolls to start, all which came out ridiculously fast … Mom says it’s always that way, even when it’s crazy busy. I tried one bite of the cold springrolls, and as you’ll see in the pic below it was more than I could manage. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be convinced to try anything else after that, so I stuck with my PB&J, grapes and fig newtons. Sigh. I’m determined to like this stuff, I swear. Regardless, Mom and Aunt Jess were in bliss. Oh, and they also wanted me to mention that the portions (at least the bun portions) are HUGE, so if you don’t have a giant appetite, stick with the small size.
So to sum things up: I wasn’t nuts about the food (I’ll get there, I swear), but the grownups seriously dug it, and at $20 and change for our whole meal, the price is certainly right. But for this kind of lavish attention? I’ll go anywhere and try at least one bite of anything. Pho Hung all the way folks.