If you look over my history of postings, it’s obvious that I like Vietnamese food, and like pho in particular (having done at least three postings on the topic). I’m still waiting for that magical day when some Vietnamese people decide to move to the Upper Valley and set up a good Vietnamese restaurant (if you’re somehow thinking about it, let me know, I’ll invest… And be one of the best customers). Until then, I have to get most of my Vietnamese food when traveling.
This time, it was Pho Dao #1 in Murrieta, CA. However, I’ve been lucky enough in the past few months to have quite a few good Pho outings (Pho 75 in Arlington, Bona in Minneapolis, Golden Bowl in Manchester, etc) that I decided that this time I was going to go for my second favorite Vietnamese dish: Bun cha gio thit nuong.
Bun cha gio thit nuong is a great dish, since I get a little bit of everything I like: cold vermicelli noodles, nicely barbecued pork, and some egg roll, with some shredded veggies mixed in, with peanuts on top. Pho Dao did this quite well, this was an outstandingly good bun cha gio thit nuong, especially for the price. The barbecued pork was savory and smokey. The egg roll was crispy and filled with nicely seasoned pork. The veggies were all nicely seasoned, and the overall dish was actually assembled instead of hastily tossed in a bowl. While I love Pho, a good Bun dish really tells the good places from the average one, and Pho Dao shined here.
They also had several Chinese items on the menu, and while usually I don’t bother too much with these, the dumplings looked quite appetizing at another table, so Carol and I decided to get the steamed pork rolls (Banh Bao). These were a little more like the Chinese style pork buns at most dim sum joints than most Banh Bao I’ve had, but were definitely flavorful and pleasant.
Overall, a very pleasant and flavorful lunch, and an affordable one as well.