Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Pho Sate

Admittedly new to the Vietnamese soup scene (advanced warning to you “pho-natics” ready to tear these findings to shreds), it can still be said with confidence that Pho Sate in Falls Church has raised the bar when it comes to the endless possibilities the now-trendy broth has to offer. spotlight

 

Admittedly new to the Vietnamese soup scene (advanced warning to you “pho-natics” ready to tear these findings to shreds), it can still be said with confidence that Pho Sate in Falls Church has raised the bar when it comes to the endless possibilities the now-trendy broth has to offer.

The restaurant is one of the highest-rated pho spots in Falls Church according to Yelp.com readers and, coming from someone who found their hairdresser/magician thanks to Yelp.com reviews, it was assumed soup recommendations had to be trusted.

And the reviewers have it.

spotlight

Pho Sate (Photo: News-Press)

Pho Sate has 17 different types of pho, not to mention, 36 other beef noodle, wonton, rice and egg noodle soups. And then there’s the tapioca pearls on the rocks, but more on that later.

For starters, the Cha Gìo Gà ($3 for 4), or chicken rolls, are everything they’re talked up to be. Don’t let their small size decide their potential — the crispy, fried miniature egg rolls are stuffed with chicken and onions, and come served with both sweet and spicy sauces. Though the simple-sounding ingredients may not set the stage for riveting anticipation, there’s a reason this four-count serving disappears too soon.

Lucky for diners, the soup tends to arrive soon after the appetizers are served. Sticking with a basic, the Tái Nam ($6.25 small, $6.95 regular) is an eyeround steak-and-flank beef noodle soup ideal for those new to the pho frontier. Diners have their usual plate of add-ins, including mint leaves, sliced jalapeños, lime wedges and crunchy bean sprouts. A lazy susan provides the rest — hot, soy and hoisin sauces were among those labeled. However, with the best thing about pho being experimentation meets garnishes, there’s no right or wrong way to go (pending pho-natic backlash).

Now, to those 36 other soups, the Bún Thái Han San ($8.50) is one of Pho Sate’s beef vermicelli noodle soups. Listen up seafood lovers, these noodles are served topped with shrimp, squid, shrimp balls and white cabbage, all afloat in a “Thai-flavored soup,” which seemed to have a red chili-paste base. Though this one only comes in a regular-sized option, half of the Tái Nam and Bún Thái Han San left Pho Sate in their respectable to-go containers.

The take-home route being mindful, of course, of the fact patrons should always save room for the cliché. That would be Ché ($3.25), which is served three different ways at Pho Sate. Essentially, each of these dessert-style cold drinks come in a layered variation of gelatin, tapioca pearls and/or fruits, jammed under ice and all topped with coconut milk. A sucker for anything edible and resembling a rainbow, this was a no-brainer regardless of its obvious ability to disappoint. That’s a risk one must take, especially when there’s tapioca involved. Stirred with a long spoon and eaten like a thick milkshake, Ché is oddly one of things that once someone partakes in it for the first time, it’s easy to crave about halfway through your workday as some shameless indulgence similar to a candy bar. Then again, Ché’s a little more colorful.

One color that could stand to be taken down a notch, however, was the inescapable lime-green-painted walls inside Pho Sate, reiterated with the … lime green shirts worn by its servers. Interior and fashion design qualms aside, Pho Sate’s green-shirted service was attentive at the start. Luckily, when the waiter seemed to go MIA, there was a helpful hostess who managed to step in, realizing that not all patrons eat pho and jet. Of course, not now that Ché exists.

Pho Sate

2814 Graham Rd., Falls Church, VA
www.phosate.com • 703-698-8088

Hours:

Sunday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Friday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*