Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Go Fo' Pho: Pho Mi Thuan Loi in Parkdale

Located at 1265 Queen Street West, Pho Mi Thuan Loi is a Vietnamese restaurant (near the LCBO on Brock Avenue) open as late as 11:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays. If you are looking for a not-too-heavy late night snack, pho is the way to go as it begins to grow dusk out. Pho also feels slightly healthier than, say, a nearby Stampede Bison Grill's poutine topped with meat shavings.

Although you should be warned that Pho Mi Thuan Loi does not appear too vegetarian-friendly. I suspect that one of the main reasons their pho is so superbe (soup-herb!) is due to its rich (read: fatty) pork broth. So let's not delude ourselves too much in thinking that pho is completely healthy!

The "Chef's Special" pho is a good place to start. A large bowl is meal-sized, perhaps more filling than a "snack," so if you want to also order appetizers, such as soft-shelled or deep-fried spring rolls, you may want to go for the smaller version. An extra-large bowl is enough for two people.

Around 8 or 9 pm is the best time to go on a Friday night. The place fills up quickly, with patrons speaking a variety of asian languages. Looking around on our first visit, nearly everyone ordered soup, so that's how Tasty Tastebuds and I came across the Chef's Special.

The service has you write down your own order, while you are served several (complimentary) teapots of ginseng tea. The small restaurant is also air conditioned, which is a definite bonus in the summer heat.

In case you are not already sold on trying out Pho Mi Thuan Loi, perhaps the cost will lure you in at only $5.50 for a large bowl of pho. Most mains (and there are an overwhelming 211 combinations listed in their menu for take-out or dining in) are under $10.00.

Why not indulge in Toronto's diverse cuisine? Many international options are located right here, in Parkdale.

Please note: Pho Mi Thuan Loi has inspired Tasty Tastebuds and I to try all of the pho options in Parkdale, rating each one, leading up to our number one favourite. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that we did something similar in the past year with Parkdale roti, recently establishing Roti Lady as the ultimate roti destination in the area, factoring in both affordability and deliciousness. When friends come to visit, and haven't ever had a roti, we now take them to Roti Lady. When friends are looking to experiment with another international menu, we offer up Pho Mi Thuan Loi... until the latter is perhaps outdone by another pho option?

... to be continued!