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Pho Van


Word to the wise: don't take your grandma out for Vietnamese food as a
Christmas present. I guess it was my own fault for basing my cuisine choice
on my own personal preferences, but I'd heard about this Pho Van in NW,
thought about paying a visit, then noticed they'd recently opened a
Beaverton location, which was ideal since that's where my mom lives. Instead
of buying presents I told my mom, step-dude and grandma I'd take them out to
eat. And why not take them someplace I'd wanted to go? I knew they weren't
anti-Vietnamese food because when my sister is in town they always go to
Saigon Kitchen.

I ordered both spring and summer rolls and a filled crepe for everyone
to share. The fresh rolls seemed to scare everyone and the crepe was met
with serious suspicion. My grandma informed us she didn't like cilantro. Let
me guess, you don't like mint or bean sprouts either? Thankfully, cilantro
appeared to be the only stumbling block.

For myself I ordered the 1. pho with everything in it and was informed
by the waiter that it had tendon and tripe in it. Duh, that's what it said
on the menu. That's the weird thing I noticed about Portland is that they
assume you either don't know what you're ordering or won't like it if you
do. At Thanh Thao I overheard the waitress informing a table that ordered
something with taro in it, what taro was like you wouldn't possibly want.

The food was very good, and everyone was pleasantly surprised after I
forced them to at least taste everything. I must admit I lost my patience
with my grandma numerous times, but only after she set the tone by making a
big fuss about water dripping from a pipe (it's understandable to not want
to be dripped on, but it's not your business to jump up and yell at new
customers coming in and being seated near the leak), then getting overly
steamed about not receiving our pot of tea. Recalling that she'd gone on
some senior tour of China a few years back, I couldn't help but ask what she
ate while there. "Planet Hollywood and McDonalds" she proudly declared. I
nearly lost my shit and told her that she'd better be joking. She wasn't.
The crowning glory was when she started making a stink about not getting
fortune cookies. I mean, there's no reason for them in a Vietnamese
restaurant, or a Chinese one for that matter. I suppose the holidays are all
about family, and that's why I've managed to avoid a Portland Christmas for
the past six years.

PhoVan * 11651 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy.,

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