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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Phoenix, AZ: Pho Good Food, Smaller Portions, And Great Service, This Place Is A Pearl

Pho Saigon Pearl
3134 W. Carefree Hwy, Suite 6
Phoenix, AZ 85086
Phone number: (623) 466-0005
Prices: $$$$

I love Vietnamese food and Pho Saigon Pearl does an excellent job. The first thing I look for when hunting for true Vietnamese are the crispy pork egg rolls (Chả Giò) that come with large leaves of green lettuce, fresh cilantro, mint leaves, and shaved, pickled carrots and cucumber in fish sauce. You wrap the egg rolls in a lettuce leaf, toss in some cilantro, mint, and shaved carrots/cucumber, wrap it all up like a burrito, and dip it in the sauce before devouring these delectable treats ... HOOAH!

The Pearl's chả giò ($6.50) are delicious, but on the small side when compared to some of the best I have had. Normally, you get four rolls about the size of a small hot dog, but these were less than half the size. Someone I know, who shall remain nameless, could pop an entire roll in her mouth, along with all the fixings, but two small bites is about all your going to get here. There were hardly any carrots or cucumber and zero mint leaves, but they were tasty nonetheless.
The Vietnamese Curry ($9) was also very good, a soupy yellow curry with big chunks (key word "big") of potato and carrot, and a smattering of chicken breast chunks. It was also scrummy, the curry itself very good, but the potato, carrot, and chicken chunks were too big to fit in my mouth, making it difficult to eat without a knife to cut them into manageable pieces. Cutting them up into smaller pieces before serving would make this dish nearly perfect, adding a little more chicken breast would complete the job.

On my second visit, I ordered the Mongolian Beef Hot Plate Special ($12) because the photo of the plate on their specials menu looked spectacular, but what arrived was less than half the size of that in the photo with much less beef. If you put a photo of something on the menu, it had better come out of the kitchen looking very much like the photo. Despite my surprise, the small skillet of beef strips and white and green onion cooked in a spicy Mongolian sauce was very tasty. I am not sure I would order it again at $12 a pop, but maybe at $9 or $10 max I would.

You get the standard mound of white rice with pretty much all of the entrees and specials. They also have a small selection of bottled beers, but they are all lagers and nothing with the hoppiness that equals happiness in my book. The service is very good and they make you feel welcome in their simple, but comfortable dining room.

I was leaning toward a higher score before I started writing and noting the faults, but the cons turned out to be too many, hence, my rating ...

CombatCritic Gives Pho Saigon Pearl 7 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!
Seven Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "Shits & Grins"

* Everybody wants a 5-star rating (9 or 10 Bombs), but I rate based on value, bang-for-the-buck, comparing restaurants using quality, price, ambiance, and service to other restaurants of similar cuisine, taking into account the cost of living in that location. Only the top 5% are going to get 5-stars, and, unfortunately, Pho Saigon Pearl did not reach that standard. The reviewers that throw around 5's like they are candy make to more objective and discerning reviewers like myself look like ogres ... c'est la vie! 

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:

Yelp "GOLD" ELITE '14/'15/'16/'17/'18/'19 
  • Over 1.4 Million Views A Year
Read Chris S.'s review of Pho Saigon Pearl on Yelp

Tabelog - Official Judge - "Silver"

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Title: Phoenix, AZ: Pho Good Food, Smaller Portions, And Great Service, This Place Is A Pearl

Key Words: hoenix, AZ, Pho Saigon Pearl, pho, Pearl, Saigon, curry, Vietnamese, Vietnam, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, Zomato, Google

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