So I decided to grab lunch and catch up with an old friend and colleague by the name of Bob Smith. He works in University Circle so we agreed we would meet somewhere in the middle. I let Bob pick the restaurant because as a former writer for the Plain Dealer he knows every hidden gem and restaurant in Cleveland. Of course he picked a place I had never been.
Funny story, till I arrived, I always thought I had been here. Turns out I had been going to a different place with a similar name. I actually went there first and thought Bob was running late. 17 minutes after we were scheduled to meet Bob called me and said where are you, I said I’m here I have our table. He’s like you’re not here I’ve been here LOL.. welp turns out I was at the wrong restaurant. Luckily they are not even a 1 minute walk apart in distance. That vietnamese restaurant is also really good, so I’ll go back and write an article later.
So… I see this awning with a few different names and realize this is where I’m suppose to be. I walk in the front entrance and then pick to enter a door on the left, not sure if I’m going the right way and a little confused I keep going. I pass a cafe on my right then see a few signs in the distance, I continue down a hallway and notice a restaurant on the left but it’s not it. I look a little further pass a few christmas trees and there it was. At this point I notice a large back parking lot with ample spots, but no worries I was already in two hour parking on the street.
I enter two more doors and boom.. I’m met with a wall full or awards. As I’ve been made aware, this is ranked Cleveland’s number one restaurant for Pho (For those who don’t know, pho is a type of Vietnamese soup, typically made from beef stock and spices to which noodles and thinly sliced beef or chicken are added). Ten years ago this became the first Pho restaurant in Cleveland. This authentic vietnamese restaurant is family owned and operated. Quick story, the owner used all his vacation to start this business and said if this doesn’t work in this time frame I’ll go back to my job. Let’s just say he never went back. Isn’t that an inspiring story?
Upon entering the restaurant almost every seat taken. It wasn’t a large space, there was an area where we were seated on the left, and then another small room with additional seating on the right. Considering it was lunch time, it was fairly busy when I arrived, and a little less crowded upon my departure. I could see Bob on the far wall standing waiting to greet me. We were sitting at a little table for four. Almost all the tables where for a table of four or six. You could tell it wasn’t the type of place you went for the ambiance, you legit went for the food. With one of the most impressive Vietnamese menus in the area. The restaurant features 14 variations of pho with six types of meat and many other complementary dishes.
We ordered rather quickly. Bob knew what he wanted (#1 Meal combination plate with Goi Cuon (summer rolls)) and I usually always get chicken pho so I ordered the #13 Pho Ga with Chia Gio (also known as spring rolls). I kid you not in less than 10 minutes our food was served. I topped mine off bean sprouts, jalapeno peppers, and sirracha sauce. It was phenomenal. Bob made me try his summer rolls but I wasn’t a big fan of the texture. They were good but I preferred my fried rolls. I played with my chopsticks but ultimately gave up and stuck with a fork and my spoon for the remainder of the meal.
The owner, who knew Bob, came over and asked how I enjoyed my meal. I told him it was great and that I would definitely come back. This place i’s perfect for takeout or for a quick in and out meal. I’m told it’s always busy so there’s no set time that’s better than others. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am-8pm. I didn’t pay for this tab, but it is very reasonable. My meal was a small bowl, so $9 with the rolls $5 and Bob’s combination was $12. So if you’re ever looking to try some really good Pho… Cleveland’s oldest and most awarded Pho, be sure to visit Superior Pho and tell them you read about them on #CourtneyCoversCleveland.