Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pho Nam

I was first introduced to Pho (a Vietnamese soup with rice noodles), by a friend. He lived near his parent's restaurant and one night we raided the kitchen, and he introduced me to this dish. I was hooked. And from that moment on, I've had Pho cravings every couple of months.

So after living near Lake Norman for over a year without Pho, you can understand the serious cravings I was having. Fortunately, a friend recently introduced me to this restaurant that is only a few miles from my house, and as far as I can tell, it's the only one in the Lake Norman area.

Pho Nam is a small restaurant, in a small strip mall on Catawba Ave. The restaurant doesn't really stick out, and the interior is sparsely decorated. Fortunately, the restaurant is big on taste! Once we entered we were able to choose our seat, and started looking over the menu. The first thing I found was the Ca Phe Sua Da (Cafe Soy Da), which is a vietnamese coffee served with condensed milk, then poured over ice. I have to order this iced coffee drink whenever I'm in a vietnamese restaurant -- I think it's an addition. Next I found the Pho Chin, which is the vietnamese noodle soup served with well done beef in it.

First came the Ca Phe Sua Da, it was delicious, and gave me a much needed afternoon caffeine and sugar rush. Next came the Pho, and I added all the necessary sides to my soup; these includes bean sprouts, basil leaves, jalapeno slices, and limes. I also added the plum sauce and chili sauce that were already at the table. I know it sounds like a LOT to add to a soup, but from the little I know about Pho, it very standard. The serving was huge, and the soup kept me full until dinner.

In addition, I had a bite of my friend's meal, it was a pork dish which looked like a soup that was missing the liquid (meat, noodles, and veggies only). The pork was fantastic, and had flavors that reminded me of a Korean BBQ. I'll have to try that the next time I go.

The restaurant is small, and seems to be a family affair. The owner works the small kitchen, and a woman, who I presume is a family member works the dining room. Both of them are very friendly, and make you want to come back.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Total: 11/15
Price: $ (Most entrees are under $10)

Conclusion: It's a good vietnamese restaurant with friendly service and tasty food. If you're in the mood for Pho, or other vietnamese cuisine in the lake norman area, I highly recommend it.

Restaurant Info:
Pho Nam
18059 W Catawba Ave.
Cornelius, NC 28031

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