Just a couple months ago, Phở Hoan Pasteur opened it’s second location in the north side of town, much to the joy of my family. Although we make our own phở at home, once in awhile it’s always nice to go out and get a bowl of the saltier and fattier broth and the more adequately sliced beef of restaurant phở. Even better when it’s within a 5 minute drive from our house! The original location on Kingsway Avenue is actually the family’s favorite, and Edmontonians seem to agree, ranking it as #4 on Urbanspoon’s list of Vietnamese restaurants. Not only so, it would be #1 if you only count restaurants specializing in phở (should have it in it’s name is my policy).
I wasn’t able to visit the store until Christmas Eve, when my family decided to have an impromptu lunch together. Not like that’s hard, there’s only three of us, but somehow it’s rare that we all get the same time or day off with nothing else planned. Family first right? My mom was itching to order the green onion cake in addition to our meal, a rarity since she usually says they’re overpriced and we can make it at home from the frozen ones you buy at the supermarket. Something about this dish at this location though, she loved. Being my parents’ third or fourth time here, they were no stranger to the green onion cake.
That day, I presume, was less busy than usual, see that it was Christmas Eve and families were mostly likely doing last minute preparations for dinner. The kitchen was by no means relaxed though, as throughout our meal, large stock pots of broth, followed by more stock pots were being transported from the kitchen to vehicles in the front. Large aluminum trays of cuts of beef were prepared, and other dishes followed suit. Definitely in the midst of a catered event with the owner kindly nodding to us as we were seated. Business doesn’t stop for holidays! And rightly so, because with an expensive rent of over $15,000 a month, you better be selling lots of phở!
As per usual, I ordered phở tai nam, a combination of rare steak and beef brisket. The broth was nice and hot, and there was an overflow of beef on the top. A good portion compared to a lot of other phở restaurants. Rumors have been flying around that this location wasn’t as good as the original. Since opening, my parents have bought bowls to bring home (you cook the noodles at home, and re-heat the broth) and true, it didn’t seem quite the same as Kingsway’s quality, but from what I could tell from this visit, it was just as good. Plus, this time I got to try the green onion cake, which in some way, is more packed with onion flavor than normal. I doubt they make it in-house, so I need to find out where to buy this frozen variety!
Definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re a north side resident. With a T&T and a Lucky Market close-by, I have almost eliminated the need to go into Chinatown!Pho Hoan Pasteur
9621 – 167 Ave