Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pho 88

(It's 2 am and I think I'm still recovering from my food coma. Please forgive the stretched water marks. I wanted to change it up a bit and I felt like stretching them vertically, okay? Mmkay.)

I went to Chinatown with my Chinatown sidekick, Ben, again. But this time, we were out celebrating his election victory for the vice president of Campus Life (North Campus)! Congratulations, once again, Ben! ^___^.

Being the awesome friend I was, I gave him the choice of going to any place for dinner. He chose Pho 88 on Spadina, since our last visit to that place was before the Christmas break. Ben was missing the spring rolls there. I think my mom's spring rolls are the best and I'm sure you'd all think so too, if you were able to try some. Mmm.... Anyway, here are the spring rolls made by Pho 88. I had a small piece and didn't enjoy it that much. I left that part to Ben.
He ordered the pork spring rolls (the one without the shrimp), the vermicelli salad bowl-thing with (more) spring rolls and the pork skewers. It was so funny watching him enjoy the spring rolls. He was excited as I usually am when a plate of my noodles is put in front of me. =)
'V' for victory? Yes... Go Humber!

I ordered the small bowl of pho that had rare beef, well-done beef, and tendons. I wanted to try tendons for some reason, as the last time I had tendons was when my aunt made the red Vietnamese stew-thing that kind of tastes sweet. Yeah, I'll have to ask my aunt what it was called. If I remember correctly, it's something like Gou Nam? Well, that's how we say it. Me thinks I butchered the spelling. Ha! 

So yes, there's my bowl. They gave me two small pieces of tendons. Kinda shitty, but hey, I tried the smaller piece and didn't like it so much, so I guess it wasn't that bad after all. The small piece that I tried was soft and gummy, which was good, but the flavour was kind of off to me. It threw me off a bit, so I left the other piece in the bowl.

We also had ordered a plate of sweet and sour pork to share - Ben's idea. It wasn't very good. Nothing can compare to the sizzling plate we get at the House of Gourmet place. Not only was the pork the battered and deep fried stuff, but they gave us "more sweet and sour than pork", Ben commented. From the pieces of "pork" you can see in the picture below, I think there were another 3 hiding under the green peppers, carrots, onions and sauce.
Ben had the strawberry and banana milkshake to drink while I got the Vietnamese coffee with ice and condensed milk.
Here it is all mixed up. 
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mix the warm/hot coffee with the condensed milk before I added the ice. I hate whenever I forget. Do you guys ever do that? I ended up with a couple of cold, crunchy clumps of condensed milk. Yumm-oh (Rachel Ray style)! The drink itself, though, had a weird taste to it. I kept thinking like lighter fluid, but I know that's really  exaggerating it. It had a slight taste of that really sweet taste. Like... maybe windshield washing fluid (not that I have ever tried it)? Dunno. All I'm saying is that there was something in my iced coffee that shouldn't have been in there.

Another thing that was weird. They were playing Linkin Park songs and punk rock songs (can't remember the band's name) in the restaurant. If you've seen how they decorated this place, you would think they would stick to Vietnamese songs or something. Maybe it's a Friday night thing? It just felt like the choice of music clashed with the decor and the vibe I was getting from the restaurant - that they're trying to serve the sophisticated and successful people in Toronto.

There was another thing that was off - our glasses of ice water tasted like they added a bit of lime juice. Weird, because there was no evidence of any limes in the drink and you would think that they would just put a slice of lime in the water, like some other places do, instead of squirting lime juice. Maybe they just didn't wash their pitchers or glasses properly? I have no clue. I took one sip, stopped, thought about how it go in there, and then asked for the bill. 

What an off night. The bill came to $40 again with tip. It was on the expensive side of things, as I expected, but it's all good. Cheers Ben!


Pho 88
270 Spadina Ave
Toronto, ON

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