Stepping Out: Pho Grand
As any St. Louis food connoisseur knows, South Grand Boulevard is the place to go for authentic, international food offerings. Whether you want Afghani food, Persian cuisine or a home-cooked Japanese meal, South Grand has it all.
On one particular Friday, my friends and I were in the mood for some good Vietnamese food. We decided to try Pho Grand, which, as you may guess, is located on Grand and (surprise!) serves pho.
When we arrived at this quaint restaurant with our group of 10 people, we were given a buzzer and told to wait upstairs on the deserted second level of the restaurant. The wait was only 20 minutes, which wasn’t bad for a group of our size on a Friday night.
While the dining area was on the smaller side, the menu was not. Pho Grand offers an assortment of noodle soups, vegetarian meals, rice dishes, seafood and meat. On a recommendation, several of my friends decided to try the Bo Luc Lac, otherwise known as shaking beef. Instead, I opted for the Com Chien Ga, chicken fried rice. Within minutes of placing our orders, our dishes came straight to the table.
Although chicken fried rice may seem like a simple dish, it was uniquely prepared at Pho Grand. The rice was crisp and not burnt like it is at many other restaurants. The chicken had a bit of a sweet taste to it, which blended well with the spiced rice.
Looking around the table, I noticed the happy faces of my friends enjoying their shaking beef. Prepared with garlic and onions, the beef had a unique and tangy taste. The portions for all of our meals were also very generous for the prices.
To my right, I saw that one of my friends had ordered an interesting soup—Pho Dac Biet. Inside this rice noodle soup was round beef, beef brisket, meatballs and tripe. While the soup was already overflowing, it also came with a side plate of bean sprouts and mint, which my friend proceeded to add to the soup. The result was a meal full of unique, robust flavor, and I’ll have to trust his word that it was delicious.
By the time we finished our dinner, we were too full to even think about indulging in dessert. But one of my dining mates was adventurous enough to try Vietnamese coffee. The coffee came out in an intricate silver pot. The drink was incredibly hot, so the server told my friend to wait five minutes before he returned to prepare it. After the coffee had cooled off, the waiter pulled up the cup and added some sweetened condensed milk to it. My friend loved the strong-yet-sweet coffee, and the interesting process of making it made it an unique experience.
If you’re looking for unique and authentic Vietnamese food in the area, I would definitely recommend Pho Grand. There is a nearly limitless number of menu options, including food for the conservative and daring diners. Plus, there’s enough strong coffee to keep you awake during the start of the semester.
3195 S Grand Blvd
St Louis, MO 63118