Pho Vina dishes up a hearty noodle soup and more
At Pho Vina in Burien, the Southeast-Asian-style food is wicked good, fresh and attractively presented. Lots of tummy-warming pho, as well as meat and fish entrees, fried rice, noodle dishes and banh mi sandwiches.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Pho VinaSoutheast Asian
15623 First Ave. S., Burien
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sunday.
Etc: Major credit cards accepted; no obstacles to access; parking in lot and on street; no alcohol.
Don't be fooled by the run-of-the-mill strip-mall location or the fast-food sandwich place next door. When you walk through the doors of Pho Vina, it's like stepping into the Land of Oz, Southeast Asian style.
This small spot off busy First Avenue South in Burien has been gaining regulars for several years now, and it's easy to see — and taste — why. Not only is the food wicked good, it's attractively presented — from the hearty bowls of pho, Vina's namesake noodle soup, to the ruby-redness of a tall fountain glass full of strawberry lemonade.
Nothing says home like a big bowl of pho, the peppery beef broth teeming with perfectly done noodles and 11 varying combinations of tender meat. Quantities are generous, and ingredients are fresh.
The menu: Extensive, with a vegetarian option for dinner. A variety of rice noodles, fried rice and noodle dishes abound, along with a dozen meat and fish entrees. All range between $6.95 to $7.95. There are also banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches, $4.95 apiece) and, of course, lots of tummy-warming pho. Small portions of pho are $6 — but at just 75 cents more, why not spring for the large?
What to write home about: The grilled pork chop ($7.75), which arrived at the table ushered in by the pleasant aroma of freshly tanned meat. Smattered with diced scallions, the two lean chops sprawled over a bed of rice, flanked by a fried-egg sidekick. This tropical medley of meat, egg and rice made me want to splash on some Sriracha hot sauce, let the rice sponge up that burst of yolk and fight the urge to go all pit bull on those yummy chops.
What to skip: The spring rolls ($1.95 each), though pleasingly presented, were limp and bland.
The setting: The décor is as tastefully simple and colorful as the food, though the plentiful seating can be a tight squeeze when the place is busy.
Summing up: A dinner for two of Singapore-style vermicelli with prawns, a large order of pho with beef and Vietnamese meatballs, a pair of spring rolls and a strawberry lemonade came to $20.65 before tax and tip. Let the yellow-lined road lead you here and you'll find there might just be a place like home.
Marc Ramirez: 206-464-8102 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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