Pho Kim ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico
Food: No surprises here, but Pho Kim features Vietnamese cuisine. In general, we've gravitated to their famous soups, and I generally like the meat ball and Mrs. RJG enjoys the chicken. The broth and noodles are cooked to perfection, and the side jalapeno slices are extra hot. While most Vietnamese restaurants provide an admirable pho, we do think Pho Kim is a cut above the rest. However, on this visit, I decided to venture into their chicken and rice dish, which used to be my staple, having been spoiled by the all-time great Kim Ba in Denver. And I'm glad I did, as this was a unique slant on a traditional dish. At least to me it was - as I've not encountered the type of marinate applied. When I first saw it, I could swear it was pork, as it had the familiar purple and red "flank" styled marinate. But no, it was definitely chicken, and very tender. And tasty. And each bite got better and better, as I continued to douse my rice with the Sriracha, while the flavors were bouncing wildly on my tongue. In conclusion, Pho Kim continues to move up as one of the better Vietnamese places we've had in the country.
Drink: No alcohol. Usual assortment of common drinks and Vietnamese fruit laced specialties. As tempting as the iced coffee was, we stuck with water (beer drinking session was ahead!).
Location: On West Alameda, west of St. Francis (US 84). On the north side of the street. As you can see from the fine photo I stole above, they have a unique store front in an otherwise drab strip mall. Inside it's brightly lit, with some attempts at mood spotlights. It's better than the usual convenience store lighting most Vietnamese places have, but not by much. It's a full service restaurant, so just find a seat when you arrive.
Notes: Pho Kim is one of many Vietnamese restaurants that seem to enjoy a sophomoric play on words (though admittedly hilarious). Once you realize that Pho is not pronounced "foe" but rather "fu", then you're in on the joke (read it again more quickly). Keller's own Pho King Way pulled a similar stunt, before ultimately closing down a few years ago.
Facebook (Unofficial page)
Hours: 11-9 Mon-Sat; 11-8 Sun (only to-go orders if you show up last minute - they advise on the door)