In a land filled with corporate chains, finding small “Mom & Pop” businesses in *SoCha (South Chandler) is a challenge, especially if you are one who likes to support your local community and local businesses.
Pho Chandler, located on the SEC of Arizona Ave & Ocotillo Road (in the Home Depot shopping center), is a small and friendly Mom & Pop Vietnamese restaurant that’s slinging out traditional Vietnamese dishes such as bowls of Phò (hot bowl of noodle soup), Bún, (Vermicelli noodle salad like bowl/dishes), Chả Giò (Vietnamese style egg rolls) and Gỏi Cuốn (spring rolls).
Pho Chandler is a clean, sparsely decorated casual no frills, come as you are and get your fix of affordable Vietnamese food (all dishes under $10.00). Good for kids.
Like most Vietnamese restaurants, Pho Chandler offers several varieties of Pho such as an assortment of noodle soup (different cuts of beef), chicken and seafood. They even offer a vegetarian option.
If you are looking to try something that most people do not order, try the Bánh Xèo. Bánh Xèo’s loose translation is sizzling cake for the sizzling sound it makes when cooking. Visually, it looks like an omelette or a fried pancake filled with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts. Batter is not eggs, but rice flour and turmeric powder. Bánh xèo is food that is meant to be shared (appetizer) and to be eaten with your hands with the lettuce and herbs provided. Of course, you could order it as a main dish.
If you have never had Vietnamese iced coffee, this is a must! Cafe Suda or Ca Phe Su Da is dripped French Roast grounds through a Vietnamese coffee filter mixed with condensed milk. This will put your favorite drink at Starbucks to shame!
If you’re not as adventures or are with others who are not, they do offer a few Americanized (“Gringofied”) Chinese food dishes as well.
FYI: When they are extremely busy, there is a sign-in sheet left of the entry doors. Don’t forget to sign-in!
If you live in *SoCha or considering moving to Chandler, Pho Chandler is a good option for an affordable, casual sit down restaurant.
When ordering Pho, my favorite is the Phở Đặc Biệt – House Pho’nomenal (menu item #P1). It has a combination of thinly sliced round eye steak, brisket that melts in your mouth, gelatinous pieces of tendon, tripe and a hearty beef meatball.
If you’re not as adventurous, try the Phở Tái Nạm (menu item #P3), which comes with thinly sliced round eye steak and brisket.
If you’re not craving a hot bowl of pho, try one of the Bún dishes (rice noodle salad bowl).
My go-to is the Bún Chả Giò Tôm Thịt Nướng (menu item #B2). With it’s marinated pork, shrimp, chopped up egg roll, shredded lettuce, julienned cucumbers, and fresh herbs like cilantro and mint, it is a can’t miss.
RECOMMENDATIONS (JOSEPH YU)
* SoCha = South Chandler, anything in Chandler south of the 202. All Bún dishes come with a side of Nuoc Cham (thin watery consistency sauce made of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, chili flakes, water and julienned Do Chua (pickled carrots and daikon pickled in sugar, salt and vinegar).