Today, Fork and Spoon decided to finally swing by Pho BC and give it a try. It has been on our list for a while and typically, we comment to each other that we need to try out the Pho as we are passing by on Nicholasville Road. Usually we have just eaten, or are in a hurry to somewhere else, so it never works out that we could just stop in. Today, we planned for it, after a short trip to UK’s Young Library where Spoon was investigating old, dead Lexingtonians in historic newspapers.
You will find that old dead people is a prominent theme in Spoon’s life.
Fork Junior had been interested in the Pho as well, so he decided to join us on our little adventure, even if it did mean he would spend some time in a library watching his mother talk to herself as she wrestled with the microfilm reader.
We hit the restaurant around 1pm. The restaurant is situated in a strip mall (as are so many things in Lexington) and really isn’t much to look at upon first view. It is crowded in with a couple stores that sell ugly clothes and bric-a-brac and parking was tight. The windows have that reflective plastic coating on them that is somewhat bubbled and peeling and it might leave one with an anticlimactic feeling, a feeling that one should just go somewhere else.
Ignore those feelings and go inside!
The restaurant is clean and pleasant. The walls and decor are cheerful. There is a gold fish tank near the front door, and even a table with magazines. As the restaurant was full when we arrived, we assume the magazines are there to provide entertainment while you wait for a table to come available. A table had just emptied as we were walking in and it was cleaned straightaway and we settled in with our menus.
There are two televisions and background music in the restaurant, which we found a little distracting, as this is not really a large enough space to warrant two televisions and background music all running simultaneously. Nonetheless, if you enjoy eating at family-run type restaurant, you will recognize this to be that kind of establishment. Sometimes it is okay if everything isn’t perfect, as long as the food is good.
We ordered a pot sticker appetizer to start. The plate arrived with six pot stickers and a bowl of dipping sauce. They arrived quickly and were quite tasty. They were not particularly different from other pot stickers we have had at other establishments, but they were not overly chewy or gummy, which can sometimes be a problem. They tasted like they might be freshly made. If they were not (we didn’t think to ask), we were quite happy either way, fresh or premade.
We followed our appetizer with Pho (pronounced something like “fuh uh”). Pho is a delicious broth based soup, typically beef, to which rice noodles and sliced meat are added. Pho is often accompanied by a separate plate of bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime, sliced green chile and lime wedges.
There is a method to eating Pho. It isn’t complicated, but if you are the kind of person who worries about doing things the right way, my telling you not to worry won’t stop you from worrying, so go ahead and check out this link!
Fork and Fork Junior ordered steak Pho, Spoon selected steak and meatball. It came with the requisite plate of super fresh add-ins: Thai basil that looks like it was cut fresh off a basil plant back in the kitchen, chubby little bean sprouts, little slices of chile, and wedges of lime.
We were impressed that the Pho didn’t come with a fork and spoon!
You will find on the table, everything you will need to enjoy your Pho: chopsticks in tidy paper wrappers, Asian ceramic spoons stacked in a holder on the table, as well as bottles of soy sauce, fish sauce, Hoisin sauce and Sriracha chile sauce. Left untouched, the broth is mild and beefy, delicious but not particularly spicy or salty. These sauces allow you to tailor your broth to suit your individual palate.
Fork, Spoon and Fork Junior thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The restaurant is local but serves something out of the ordinary, from amazingly fresh ingredients. We will go back and try everything else. We are their newest fans!
Our total came to $38.69 + tip for one order of pot stickers, three regular bowls of Pho and three drinks.
KEEP IN MIND: Servings are very generous. Our “small” bowls of Pho looked “large” to us; we saw someone with a “large” bowl and it looked bigger than “large”. It was plentiful.