We had so much fun trying some delicious new food at Pho Bamboo in McAllen, Texas. (Located next door to Khans Grill) This was our first time here, and although there was an obvious language barrier, we really enjoyed the food, service, and ambiance of this authentic Vietnamese Restaurant. We came in with no expectations and left smiling from ear to ear, more full than I've ever felt, and very excited that we not only tried food from a different part of the world, but also met people who were brand new to the states. They make for excellent (and quite interesting) conversations!!
We honestly had no clue where we'd end up eating dinner that day, but when we walked in and our server gave us a huge smile, I felt we made the right choice by taking a risk on a new place. I normally eat somewhere a few times before I blog about them, but the food was so good (and a few friends also said they super loved it), so i'm not shy in believing they do a consistently good job. Our waiter said he had been in the valley for only a few months. His English was quite rough, and although at first it was definitely a bit scary to not know what to order, he made us so comfortable, and by the end, we were laughing like old friends. The restaurant was a bit empty, but more than a handful of people stopped by for take out.
What We Drank...
Raul had an iced coffee, which he described as very strong, almost like black coffee flavor, except without the bitterness of black coffee. The consistency was quite milky. Raul loved it, while I wish it tasted more like milk, so I can't say this was my favorite, but I am not much of a bitter coffee enthusiast.
The Yummy Before the even Yummier
These rolls are accompanied with this sweet sauce. The combo made for a perfect marriage of sweet & salty. I wrapped each roll in lettuce, as you can see on the previous picture, threw a few carrots in, and dipped every bite in this sauce. Toooo good. I will warn you, this has fish sauce in it. If you've never had fish sauce before, don't let the smell scare you, It truly is delicious, but the smell is pungent if I'm putting it nicely.
Over-eating was a must!
Price - $8.95 (enough for two easily!)
I'll have all of the Noodles, plz!
Price- $15 (A little steep at first thought, but after seeing all the food, I realized it was reasonable)
Desserts & Other Fun..
Although we were beyond stuffed, the owner did not let us leave without trying some of his unique Vietnamese desserts. This is coffee jelly sweetened with cherry, coconut, and I believe condensed milk is added to the top (I might be mistaken.) I was initially afraid of its brown appearance, but realized it is not everyday I can try yummy things from other countries, so we dove right in.
The last thing the owner Kevin, (who I will picture soon) had us try was this lemon concoction. He left lemon to ferment in water for two years and then poured some for us in this petite plastic cup. Chunks of lime were floating at the bottom of this very interesting "elixir." Very wary, my boyfriend and I took a small sip, and were happily surprised that it resembled salty lemonade. We ended up drinking the entire thing and would very much order this again. Kevin made us guess his age, and when we guessed much younger than what he is, he said it was all due to this magical drink. He said it was also the best remedy for colds or sore throats, and seeing as how I get sick like its a hobby, I will surely put his drink to the test when cold season kicks in.
To New Friends & Great Experiences!
Kevin (which is his American name) was a blast! (Although the language barrier made it a little difficult to understand some of the things he was telling us.) He mentioned his restaurant had been open for a only a few months and he was hoping more people would stop by. We were also informed that it was family run and his sister helped with much of the business. Our waiter, who is behind Kevin in this quick snap I took of them (can you tell he was working hard?) was super positive and upbeat, and also happened to be his nephew (or cousin.)
Lastly I'd like to mention that I know very little about Vietnam as a country, but after this experience, I definitely want to go back to Pho Bamboo and try all the other "crazy" different menu items & learn a little more about the awesomeness it has to offer.
Address- 139 W Nolana Ave, McAllen, TX 78504
Phone- (956) 777-9466 &(956) 777-9466
Great for lunch or dinner
Open from 10 am-10 pm