Lunch is, apparently, the new dinner.
Now that Stella’s in the mix, dinners out are hard to coordinate, especially since I’m the only one of us two smalls who actually eats solid food (or stays awake for more than half an hour at a time for that matter). Also, Dad’s home until the beginning of January, and we’ve been needing to spice up our days now that the weather is colder and we can’t just hang in the park all afternoon.
Which brings us to last week’s lunch. It’s not often that Dad (and less frequently Mom) lament about their days on the west side, but when they do, it’s usually about restaurants they miss. Case in point: Pho Hung. Mention the place and both parentals virtually swoon over what they say is the best Vietnamese food in the city. Mom and Dad had tried a few other Vietnamese places in our new hood before I was born, but I’m told none of them came even close to scratching the itch. In any case, our original plan was to head across town, but then reality set in (I mean, come on guys … there’s now two of us under two and a kid’s gotta get home in time to nap) and we ended up at the Peach Garden.
We went last Saturday, and it was hopping when we arrived at about 12:30. So hopping, in fact, that there wasn’t a highchair for me initially … they only have two and both were occupied. No booster seats available either, so I was forced to sit on an adult chair, jammed between Mom and a window so I ‘wouldn’t fall off’. I still maintain that I would have been fine, but there’s no arguing with Mom when she gets an idea in her head. We were able to snag a highchair about halfway through our meal, and I begrudgingly admit that it was easier to eat when I was actually at table height.
On strollers: The Peach Garden is a decent sized place, but there’s not a ton of room for stroller parking. We drove, so it wasn’t an issue for us, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to find space for anything larger than an umbrella stroller on a busy day. Although all that space filled with tables and people does make for some very intense people watching … I was lucky enough to get seated right by the entrance, which meant a great view of everyone’s comings and goings, as well as a large seafood delivery being unloaded.
As is the case with a lot of Vietnamese places, the service was super quick. I think we were in and out in an hour total, and that’s including the time it takes to get Stella situated (she’s slooooow) and both of us in and out of the car. As for the food … I can only vouch for it secondhand but Mom and Dad were impressed, and they told me they’d absolutely go back (which is not the case for any of the other places they’ve tried in the East end). Mom had Bun (from what I could tell, rice noodles, thinly sliced veggies, and two spring rolls, all with a healthy splash of fish sauce) and Dad had a stir-fried beef dish served with rice (it looked a bit sauce-y to me). I tried a springroll from Mom’s Bun and was not digging it; I guess I just don’t have a taste for Vietnamese food yet. So for discerning kid palates (Mom calls it ‘picky eaters’ … pah!) it’s probably best to bring your own eats … I got by on Cheerios, cheese, strawberries, applesauce and Arrowroot cookies.
Overall, not super this-kid friendly when it comes to the menu, and I was bummed that they only had two highchairs. If this was a parent blog, I’d be telling you I found an East end substitute for Pho Hung, but let’s face it, it’s not. I’ll go back if Mom and Dad make me.