Sargent Taco Shop – Tam’s Pho

Generally I do reviews of restaurants separately, but today I’m doing a review of both Sargent Taco Shop and Tam’s Pho. While the cuisine is different, and one is trying to replicate a distinctive vibe, they have a couple of things in common that make for a good review.

Tam's Pho water.

A glass of lemon water from Tam’s Pho.

The first is that they are both small establishments. Sargent Taco has one table and a few stools, but advertises itself as a take-out restaurant. Tam’s Pho has a little more seating space, but also does a lot of take-out business. The second is that they are both located on busy main streets. Sargent Taco not surprisingly is on Sargent Avenue, and Tam’s Pho is on Portage Avenue. The third is that they are both on the lower end of the scale as far as price is considered. You can get a good meal, cheaply at either restaurant. The fourth is that while the cuisine is different both serve really good food.

Quick and Easy to Go

My friend David Driedger, who I had visited The Mami Project with, had put a post on Facebook that his favourite Mexican restaurant was reopening. He didn’t give a location, but as I was walking down Sargent one evening, I saw The Sargent Taco shop was open and figured it must be the place. Continue reading


Choice Sushi, Good Choice

I have a fondness for hole in the wall type restaurants, and restaurants that don’t look all that imposing from the outside.  Choice Sushi is located on the corner of Ellice Avenue and Young Street.  In case you’re wondering where that is, it’s right next door to the grocery store that, until recently, had the best deals in town on bus passes.  The restaurant has been closed and reopened over the last year, but now seems once again to be in full swing.

The menu is a mix of Japanese and Korean food.  One of the things that sets it apart from many other Korean/Japanese restaurants is that it has a small menu.  By small I mean about 50 items, but that still makes it a lot smaller than many similar restaurants.

Also, despite the fact that the restaurant is named Choice Sushi, on taste alone, I’d go with the Korean dishes. They are the superior dishes.  However, if you go when the sushi rolls are on special you get yourself a really good deal even if the sushi is just average.  I was there the other day when the Alaska and Teriyaki Chicken rolls were on for 50% off, meaning I got them both for $4.95

Choice Sushi is closed, but a new restaurant, also Korean will soon open up in this location.

The Gyoza dumplings also make for a reasonably good choice.  I liked the fact that they were fried crispy, but I would have wished for more pork in the filling


Among the other dishes I tried were a spicy stew, and the Spicy Ramyun.  I think this was the first time that I understood what the purveyors of packaged noodles are trying to emulate.  The noodles were reminiscent of the packaged noodles, but higher quality and much fresher.  The stew contained nice amounts of cabbage, pork and tofu.  In both cases the broth had plenty of bite to it.  Yet it was heat of the sort that leaves a tingle in your mouth after the meal, rather than a burn.

Choice Sushi Wrap-up:

No visit to a Korean restaurant would be complete without a comment on the side dishes. At Choice Sushi I received cucumber and seaweed, with a dressing that reminded me of Catalina with a little extra kick.  The potato salad was subtly seasoned with no overwhelming sense of mayo.  Finally, the Kimchi was a good mix of vinegar and chili.

All in all Choice Sushi is a great place for a quick, tasty and economical meal.  While the sushi isn’t the star of the menu, it is always good. Sometimes it’a a great value as well. However, make sure you try the Korean dishes if you visit.