Nothing Special About the Pho Special

After being a blob in front of the TV for most of this past week, I felt like getting out and doing something different this weekend.  I decided to head north to West Palm Beach to check out the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.

Of course, I couldn’t go to a new place and not try a new restaurant nearby.  That would just be plain blasphemy!  After spending a good 30 minutes on Yelp this morning, I settled on a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Vn in Boynton Beach, about 10 miles south of my final destination.  (My philosophy is that any restaurant that has more than 4 stars and more than 50 reviews is worth trying out.)

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Tucked away at the back of a shopping plaza in Boyton Beach, Pho Vn is a relatively small shop, with no more than about 10 tables inside.  010415_phovn_pho1

I ordered the Pho Special, which came with noodles and a couple different types of meat (brisket, tendon, tripe, meatballs), in a flavorful broth.  Pretty regular Vietnamese fare — and yes, I will judge a restaurant by how good their Pho Special is!  My take on the one at Pho Vn?  Standard.  No more, no less.  Tastewise, it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but wasn’t the worst either.  I’d give my order an okay.  It also came with some herbs and bean sprouts on the side — typical pho add-ons.

To be honest though, after seeing the rating and reading the reviews on Yelp, I was a little disappointed, partially because of the relatively small serving size.  $9 for a bowl of pho that left me hungry by 6:30p… and I had only finished eating a bit after 2:00p!

010415_phovn_insideI will say that the inside of the restaurant was nicely kept, and the waitresses were polite.  I’d say those — and not so much the food — were the highlights of my visit.

*Location:
344 North Congress Avenue
Boynton Beach, FL 33426

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Meatball Lunch Special at Mozzarella

Quick was key for today’s lunch, so my co-workers and I decided to give Mozzarella* a try.  If you couldn’t tell, it’s Italian.

Naturally, I gravitate towards the lunch specials — that’s the economist in me — and today was no different.  According to Mozzarella’s tableside menu, all the specials were to be served “with two side dishes (add pasta or risotto +$1.50).”  Sounded good to me, so I went for “Meatballs” with veggies and an Italian salad.  Oh, and also mushroom risotto.  Why not?  Go big or go home, right?

Ten minutes after placing my order, the waitress walked over and started explaining some details about the lunch specials to one of my co-workers.  In Spanish.  Her comment was acknowledged, but then she turned to me and asked if that was okay.  Um… since when could I speak Spanish?  Fluently?!  (FYI, one thing about Miami is that people automatically assume you speak Spanish.)  ¿Qué?  ¡No hablo español!

Apparently, I could either order two sides or a pasta/risotto, not both.  (Btw, this directive was much more clear in the restaurant’s online menu.)  I said that just the two sides were fine, which sent the waitress back into the kitchen, only to come out five minutes later to say that the “risotto was almost finished” so I couldn’t cancel it after all.  Fine.  I told her to just nix the greens then.

15-20 minutes later, the food arrived.  In the meanwhile, I was hungry, so noshed on some bread.  Shout out to the bread!  Fluffy and warmish on the inside, crunchy on the outside, my favorite combo of (bread) textures!  The bread was gone pretty quickly, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to snap any photos…

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That’s the mushroom risotto on the left and meatballs on the right.  Both were pretty ordinary, though the risotto could’ve been creamier and mushier.  The mushrooms were subtly tasty though, and not overcooked, which was nice.  I appreciate mushrooms that aren’t overcooked.  Generally speaking though, the meal, including the presentation, was really quite ordinary.  Three out of five stars.  Okay.

Quick service though?  Probably not so much…

What’s your favorite pasta dish?

*Location:
7930 NW 36th St
Doral, FL 33166