Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pho Big Bowl ~ Watauga, Texas

Finding a quality Vietnamese restaurant in the northern parts of Northeast Tarrant county has always been a challenge. Recently we've been blessed with two new start-ups, and at the current time, we think Pho Big Bowl is the best of them all! Though the other place is very good too, and we'll be reporting on them soon as well. It's a long drive to Haltom City, so we're hoping these places stay around.

Food: It's soups, sandwiches, and full dinner entrees, as you would expect. On our first two visits, Mrs. RJG and I tried the pho. In fact, on our very first time here, I was beginning to get a cold, and what better way to knock it out than with a big ol' bowl of meatball soup! Their noodles are fantastic, and the broth is somewhat unique (excellent of course), adding to the allure. On a recent visit, I was most curious how their entrees would stack up. I had the lemongrass chicken stir fry, and Mrs. RJG went with the charbroiled chicken. Mine was good, lacking a bit in strong flavor, but a decent variation of the classic dish. On the other hand, the Charbroiled chicken was an absolute slam-dunk instant classic awesome dish. We haven't tasted chicken this well prepared and marinated since our days in Denver and the hall of fame Kim Ba (which we reference a lot). Loved it, and I can see this being a crave worthy dish. Once you achieve that level, you have a loyal customer. We'll see if they're consistent with it. And besides, there's always the fantastic soup. Oh - and the entrees do come with a cup of broth, which is a nice touch (many of the Haltom City restaurants do this as well). Worth noting as well that the rice was expertly cooked (this is becoming something of a lost art it seems).

Drink: Typical Vietnamese drinking fare, including the always great sweet coffee. We actually snuck* in a bottle of wine, which was met with tacit approval. They're not truly a BYOB place in the sense that they don't have anything to support it - but if you bring your own gear (opener, cups/glasses, etc...) you can imbibe. While BYOB/alcohol is common among patrons of Thai food, it still seems foreign in a Vietnamese place. We need to change that! (*- you know - I didn't realize snuck wasn't an actual English word until now. Who knew? Sneaked I guess is proper....)

Location: On the north side of Watauga Rd. (Mid Cities) just west of Rufe Snow in an old strip center. This used to be a Mexican restaurant (you can still see the touches of it), which we never frequented.

Notes: Pho Big Bowl opened roughly a year ago. Interestingly, when Mrs. RJG and I first moved to NE Tarrant in 2003, there was a Vietnamese restaurant across the street (near Tony's) called Red Mango. We liked it, and on a second return it was already closed. Nice to see a decade plus later Vietnamese returning to the vicinity.

Rating: 4.0 We're starting to get excited about Pho Big Bowl

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