Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Great Banh Mi and Pho in the BoogieDown

In the shadow of the Kingsbridge Armory can be found a hidden culinary gem of the Bronx. Formerly the location of the somewhat ballyhooed World of Taste Seafood (on Yelp, and the Village Voice, and visited by Baron Ambrosia on Bronx Flavor), the newly named Pho Mien Tay at 2614 Jerome Avenue does not disappoint.

The missus, the little one, and I took a stroll on Sunday afternoon to sample the goods of this Vietnamese delight. First let me say that the staff is incredibly friendly. While we were confusedly looking at the menu, the cook came over and took us under his gastronomic southeast Asian wing and suggested what turned out to be some fantastic dishes.

We split a big (enormous!) bowl of beef pho ($6.00), which is a delicious soup with noodles, incredibly thin and tender slices of beef (so thin and tender that our 18 month old gobbled them up greedily), and vegetables. I had a a pork banh mi (only $3.50), which is a sandwich stuffed with veggies, cilantro, pork leaf, and a spicy sauce on a crusty French baguette. The missus had bun thit nuong ($6.00), which is grilled pork with rice vermicelli and veggies. All three dishes were unbelievably good and large portions - well worth the walk over from Bedford Park. If you're out of walking distance, Pho Mien Tay is only a block south of the Kingsbridge Road 4 train stop. The food is worth the trip, people.

You should also try the Vietnamese iced coffee - it's strong, sweet, and reminded me of caffeinated chocolate milk, even though there is no chocolate in it.

The second best part of the dining experience (after the deliciousness, of course) is how affordable everything was. In total, with pho that could have served three people, a banh mi that was twice as large as I thought it would be (picture of banh mi shows half of the portion - hunger got the best of patience), a monster bowl of bun thit nuong, an iced coffee, and a soda cost only $18.25.

While you're over in this hood you should stop by the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage as well; it's right down Kingsbridge at the Concourse. Or you could go for a stroll in St. James Park, which is right next to Pho Mien Tay.

Pho Mien Tay is located at 2614 Jerome Avenue. Phone number is 718-220-8212 or 718-584-5228. They deliver. CASH ONLY, but they have an ATM onsite.

~ErLu

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOVE this place! Discovered it about 2 years ago by accident on my way to Lehman College. I was so delighted to have a place nearby that served freshly made, affordable spring rolls! Highly Recommended.

Nick Napolitano said...

ErLu- I am sorry, I have to disagree with you. The Vietnamese restaurant across the street is where Mama went when she left World of Seafood and the food there is just better. I am all for dueling cultural restaurants, but my vote goes to the little lady who does all the cooking.

Boogiedowner said...

I'm not sure what you are disagreeing with, Nick? BoogieDowner wasn't casting any votes about these two restaurants. We've never eaten at the one you love. We'll be sure to try the other the next time we venture down there. We can only vouch for the deliciousness of Pho Mien Tay.

tomslick said...

Excellent review! Please consider reviewing Pho Mien Tay and other places you've tried in our pho restaurant directory:

http://www.phofever.com/restaurants.php?rid=1970

Chris said...

I discovered World of Seafood Flavor last winter, and while they only had two vegetarian dishes, I loved both of them--the service was slow, but the food was outstanding, and incredibly cheap.

I just visited Pho Mien Tay (for some reason the menus say "Pho Vung Tau") today, and I was bitterly disappointed. I ordered a dish of sauteed vegetables on crispy noodles, and found it nearly inedible, with the vegetables poorly cooked, and the result nearly flavorless (fortunately they provide lots of condiments on the tables).

The restaurant is better-furnished now, the service is much faster, but the unique ambience is gone, the prices are higher, and the selection of cool drinks is much reduced--and there was some problem with the refrigerator, because the drinks weren't cold enough.

I didn't know Mama had moved to the place across the street, which I tried some months back, and found wanting. I'll be going there from now on. They still have the plastic container by the cash register of Pho Mien Tay, that says "Tips for Mama". It's confusing.

I can't speak for the meat-eaters, obviously. But I would tend to assume that if the vegetarian dishes are so much inferior now, the meat, poultry and seafood dishes must also have suffered.

Anyway, hope the other place is doing it the way I like--I'll check it out next week.