There are so many good restaurants in the West End of Winnipeg. So many in fact, that it’s easy to simply never visit some of them. Pho Que Huong on Ellice Avenue is one such place. It probably doesn’t help that it’s located just down the street from Nhu Quynh, one of my favourite spots. However Pho Que Huong is good and stands on it’s own merits.
Pho Que Huong Late Lunch
My first visit to the restaurant came at the end of the lunch service. There was only one person at the front of house. The lunch time had clearly been busy, and so while there were several empty tables, I had to wait a couple of minutes before one could be cleared.
When I got the menu I decided to try a couple of appetizers with a small soup. One of the things I like about the menu here is that many of the appetizers are available in both two piece and four piece offerings. I chose the two piece spring roll and the two piece shrimp salad roll.
These arrived at my table separately and before the soup so I could concentrate on each of them. I found the spring roll well filled with a good, crunchy wrapper. While the salad roll was well filled, I found the shrimp to be basically flavourless. Both the dipping sauces were good.
If you order soups online from the restaurant they are only available in the large size. However, the on site menu offers them in small, medium, and large. Having ordered the appetizers, I went with the small. This is working on the principal, that a small at a typical Vietnamese restaurant is more than filling enough. This is true here as well. The broth was rich and full of flavour. I enjoyed most of the soup just as served, but added some hot sauce towards the end to finish my meal with a little bit of a kick.
Pho Que Huong for Dinner
I returned a few days later for supper. This time it was around seven o’clock so most of the rush was over. However, the place was still busy and there was again only one person doing front of house. This would be the one thing I wish the restaurant would change. When your server has to do her entire job at a sprint, you need more help. One of the reasons I like Vietnamese restaurants is that they are almost always good, fast food options. This time I ended up spending quite a bit of time waiting. Still, on the whole this place is worth the wait. Plus, the server did do an excellent job.
This time around I went for what is called a Barbecue Pork Meatball salad roll. It’s more like SPAM than what I would call a meatball, However, the flavours are really good, and the texture is quite palatable.
For my main I chose the Sizzling Beef Plate with vegetables. One of the things I really like about this dish is that it came with lots of Broccoli and Cauliflower. Most places this style of dish would come with mainly celery and carrot. I like those vegetables, but the vegetable choices in this dish make it more interesting. I really liked the beef as well. It was very tender, almost melt in the mouth. This dish also came with the white rice included. Another note: The menu offer iced Vietnamese Coffee, but you can get the hot version, which I did.
I will admit that Nhu Quyhn is still my favourite. However, Pho Que Huong makes a nice change of pace and offers some interesting variations in their menu. Definitely worth your time to visit. Just make sure you allow for a lack of servers when planning your visit.