One of my favorite world cuisines is Vietnamese. I have been enjoying it with my honey for over 25 years! Back when our obsession first began, we used to live in northern New Jersey and would drive an hour and half to Plainfield New Jersey- just to get our Pho fix. The town of Plainfield was quite unsafe back then and we were quite used to finding our car broken into when we returned from yet another delicious meal. Even in the middle of the day!!! But that didn’t stop us from going back again. Seriously! If that is not obsession, what is? 🙂
I am loving the fact that this cuisine is slowly but surely gaining popularity all over Fairfield county, CT. Mecha Noodle Bar (Fairfield) has recently opened a second location in South Norwalk – although their menu is a little bit of everything: Vietnamese Pho, Japanese Ramen and Chinese dumplings and steamed buns etc – and their Pho is solid! Then there is chef Matt Storch’s yummy Pho at Nom-eez (Bridgeport).
And now having two Vietnamese restaurants within two miles of each other on Main Street in Norwalk is proof of just how much the popularity of this cuisine has grown!
Over a year ago, I discovered Q’s Viet Pho on Main street in Norwalk…..and immediately fell in love with its simple, honest people and their simple, honest food. There is no pizzazz around this place or its menu. The owners (also the people cooking in the kitchen and serving the food) are warm and welcoming. Menu is limited – because that makes the most sense for a small operation like this. Here you can just be yourself- come in, sit down and revel in the glorious flavors of Pho.
And just last week I discovered another mom and pop Vietnamese restaurant, called Hoi An Pho & Grill, less than two miles up on Main street in Norwalk. Man! It’s starting to feel like a Pho takeover on Main-street. And perhaps its only a matter of time when this food will BE main-stream. Hey, who am I to complain!
Hoi An is sweet and simple. Another family-run and family-operated place with lovely warm people. Menu is simple but with a few more choices than Q’s … five Banh Mi options, 9 varieties of Pho and even some rice dishes.
I liked the food in both restaurants and will totally go there again. Eating at these types of places makes me feel like I am eating food that just came out of someone’s home kitchen… which is truly charming and refreshing in today’s day and age of fusion cuisine and fancy or gimmicky restaurants. I hope you will try both these restaurants… although I have to say the Q’s Pho is bit more flavorful and delicious. I did notice a very unusual thing about the Pho at Q’s – it had big chunks of carrots and potatoes. I have never seen that in a Pho before. But judging by the well developed flavors- I can’t say that it made much of difference to my enjoyment of this version of Pho. Give it a try… tell me what you think.