Sunday, August 26, 2012

Buckeye Pho - Northern Columbus

Buckeye Pho - Asian Kitchen

My family used to frequent this restaurant often when it first opened even though it was well over a 30 minute drive. If you Columbus, it's hard to find a decent Pho restaurant that is consistent in the flavor of the soup with decent service. We don't expect the best service since it is a casual spot. It has been a few months since visiting this restaurant, but only because of the drive. 

bun mi (Cold cut)
The family used to work at the owner's sister in law's cafe (MiLi's Cafe off 161) - but took a risk to open a Pho shop on their own. They are Vietnamese so you can consider this authentic.

They greet you as soon as you walk in and let you choose where you want to sit. You can choose from either the bar or the tables. There are several tables and the waitress was happy to push together tables to accommodate (today) our family of 5.

There is a wall filled with buckeye nuts attached and 3 huge flat screen TVs always with the spots channel on and Vietnamese karaoke. It's not very big but is big enough to fit everyone comfortably.

Summer Rolls
Our waitress was prompt. She took our drink orders and was quick once they were ready. This included the food. There was a short wait for the food and she checked on us to make sure food was good and refills were given. As we just made it before the rush of people coming in, our food didn't take very long but every time we come we hardly noticed the wait.

My children ordered large specialty Pho, my husband spring rolls and the seafood crispy fried egg noodle and I ordered a small Pho, cold cut bun mi and ice coffee. My youngest also ordered fried egg rolls, a strawberry boba tea and my husband a honeydew boba tea.

The specialty drinks are in same size glass cups as the other drinks. Just enough for one person. The Vietnamese ice coffee is strong and just enough. I very rarely order a second. The children once in a while get refills on their sodas and they always provide water in addition to our drinks.

The large Pho bowls are pretty big but more of a regular size to me when eating Pho. Perfect for one person. The smalls are a good size for children  or people wanting Pho in addition to another dish. The Xl size is pretty good to hold off my husband who has a big appetite for Pho. The crispy noodle was a large dish, half way to a serving dish.

The Pho is always good. Slightly sweet and seemed like a hint of soy sauce that day but very good. 

Crispy Noodle
This was the first time we tried the seafood crispy fried egg noodle which was good but not great. The noodles were crispy and crunchy but had a taste of eating noodles straight out of the bag (mi mama) which is good but only in small portions. The noodles soften once sitting in the gravy. Not very filling but enjoyable if you like picking at all the good seafood and veggies. The gravy was good and flavorful. Good selection of seafood including octopus, imitation crab, and shrimp. The veggies included baby bok choy, green onions and shitake mushrooms. 

The bun mi is one of my favorites because the fresh french bread is so crispy good on the outside and soft on the inside with a good amount of filling. I like to order the cold cut but they also offer other types. All good in my opinion but then  I am a bread girl so to me it comes down to the fresh french bread and amount of filling. 

The ice coffee was great, strong and not too sweet. The boba teas were a good amount, more like fruit ice cream than smoothies but very refreshing and good.

 The summer rolls are also good, proportioned the noodles with the veggies and meat are good. Sometimes you run into restaurants with too much of one or the other. The summer rolls can also lose taste if the sauce is not good which is not the case at Buckeye Pho. My youngest always loves the fried egg rolls so no complaints there. They always come out hot and fresh as egg rolls should be.

 Prices are not bad for the amount of food. They are not the same as in other larger states of course but is worth it for the good food. Small specialty pho is $ 7.59 as the large is $8.59 and jumbo $10.99. Spring rolls are $3.59 for two rolls, and $3.69 for two fried egg rolls. The bun mi sandwich was $5.59 but more depending on which one you order. I'm still upset that restaurants like this charge $1.99 for sodas out of the dispenser but at least here we received refills. 

Overall Experience:
Pho Dac Biet (Specialty Pho)
 We like this cafe / restaurant. We don't often get to visit but make it out when we can. The food is good and service is good. The pho is good also but sometimes the prices could match the cheaper prices in Texas and California but they have a lot more pho restaurants. The restaurant also offers a lot of selection to choose from including Bun Cuon (crepes) and rice dishes. I've had their rice dishes which are also good, both in amount and taste. They also have one of my favorite desserts, Crème Brulee both in regular and coffee flavor that I have yet to try. In retrospective we will return to have lunch or dinner here with the family if we're ever in the area again. 

Very Full Belly - Bay Nan

Buckeye Pho on Urbanspoon

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