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Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Appropriate Food: Pho Ca Dao


Hackers love noodles. Not sure why, but it's a known fact. I particularly like Bun[1], the Vietnamese vermicelli noodle dish. I hadn't had any in a while, and Saturday night I was out with my wife and daughter looking for a fix. We were in Garland (a suburb just north of Dallas) and mildly lost, making our way through a maze of Vietnamese businesses, when my wife spotted the sign for Pho Ca Dao. It wasn't the place we were intending to go, but the sign called out to us and we decided to roll the dice and give it a try.

The inside of the restaurant wasn't fancy. It had a sort of diner feel that went with the sign. I suspect it may have been a Kip's in a past life, but nothing remained of the former occupants but a vague sense of good food served without pretense.

I ordered vermicelli noodles with beef, while my wife had my normal choice: charbroiled pork with miniature egg rolls. We got some spring rolls to start, and I couldn't resist a durian smoothie. While we were waiting, one of the staff brought my daughter a balloon.

The food arrived promptly. Our spring rolls appeared freshly made, with crisp, firm shrimp and unwilted leafy bits. My beef was tasty and tender, with not a hint of the gristle you get when the chef is skimping on the meat. The little egg rolls in my wife's dish were crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, and the pork was perfectly carmelized without being overcooked. The durian[2] shake smelled of rot and turpentine and gave me brain freeze. Everything was delicious.

There are probably other Vietnamese restaurants in Dallas that can match the food, but I doubt many can match the graphic design talent that went into the sign and menu, or the friendly and prompt service. We'll definitely be back.

Pho Ca Dao is located near the corner of Walnut and Plano Road in Garland, TX, just north of Dallas. They have a website at http://phocadaodallas.com/.

[1] Bun Cha, for example, is vermicelli noodles with charbroiled candied meat. Mmm. Candied meat.
[2] Everybody loves durian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durian

tags:blog, october, 2005, food, restaurant, review, bun, vietnamese, dallas, tx, garland

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4 Comments:

Anonymous jef said...

I'm a big fan of pho que huong. There are at least two in the Dallas area, one in Richardson near (I think) Greenville and Beltline, and the other about a block north of Frankford and Preston on the east side. I haven't been to Pho Ca Dao. The sign *is* quite nice...

6:10 AM  
Blogger S said...

I'm happy you enjoyed your dinner. I use to go there for the spring rolls and then my most recent visit turned me off for life. The spring rolls have bean sprouts in them...so when you see a darker object near a sprout, you almost always assume it's the head (or seed) of the sprout. I took a bit and looked a little closer at one dark spot. It wasn't a seed. It was a roach. Needless to say I brought the manager to the table and said I'll pay for my friends dinner, but I am not paying for mine. I understand these things happen, but you need to take a closer look at your produce before making something. He offered to make me something else, but my appetite was gone the rest of the day.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Z.Monkey said...

LOL!

What is it with hackers and Pho? I found this place because of a Hacker/EE friend of mine that works at TI. I luvz Pho Ca Dao too...

The Black Eyed Pea Porridge was an unexpected surprise for desert...

See ya 'round there...

9:06 AM  
Blogger Z.Monkey said...

That location was a Spires back in Antiquity. Then it mas a Mexican food place in the 90's. That area has changed a lot since I lived there in the 80's.

9:20 AM  

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