2 Fleur
Average check per person $5-$15
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayNo Lunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayNo Dinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Pho Nola

Metairie 3: Houma Blvd To Kenner Line: 3320 Transcontinental. 504-941-7690. Map.
Casual.
AE DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
As the name implies, this is a specialist in the wildly popular beef-broth-and-noodle soup called pho (pronounced “fuh), plus the many minor variations on the dish. Compared with other sources of the soup Pho Nola is a little above average. Also here are bahn mi sandwiches, which seem to be under the influence of some mysterious force that makes it impossible for there to exist on this earth a bad bahn mi.

WHAT’S GOOD
The house specialty is banh mi bo ko, which translates on the menu as “Vietnamese beef stew.” (The “bahn mi” part of the name comes from the loaf of French bread they give you with this for dipping.) It comes across as a soup made with a thick roux, and to my palate works neither as stew, soup, or sandwich. But many regular customers love it. As in all Vietnamese restaurants, the portions are unfinishable save by the starving. And, as in most Vietnamese places, the great sleeper dishes are the cool noodle dishes called “bun.”

Vietnamese beef stew..

BACKSTORY
Pho Nola opened in 2009 in a strip mall that has long served Asian appetites. It was for a long time a Chinese buffet, which raised its profile significantly in its Metairie neighborhood. A grocery for Asian ingredients is adjacent. The management seems to be from a younger generation of Vietnamese Orleanians.

Pho Nola dining room.

DINING ROOM
The restaurant has a youthful buzz about it, from the sprightly menu prose and design to the sharp look of the premises. The decor is contemporary and comfortable, much handsomer indoors than out. The service staff is almost too efficient, and happy to make recommendations or give explanations.

Saigon crepes..

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
»Vietnamese spring rolls
»Char-grilled pork rolls
Shrimp spring rolls
»Veggie spring rolls
»Char-grilled beef spring rolls
»Vietnamese egg rolls
»Saigon crepe
Nola rolls
»Pork dumplings steamed or pan fried
Soups & Salads
»Rice noodle soup (pho) with chicken, rare steak, beef meatball, brisket, or combinations
Vegetable noodle soup, chicken broth
»Wonton soup
Vietnamese beef stew
Spicy beef noodle soup
Combination noodle soup (roast pork, shrimp, fish ball, quail egg, crab stick)
Crispy stir-fried rice noodles, shrimp, beef, chicken and vegetables
Egg noodle wonton soup
»Shakin’ beef salad
Vietnamese chicken salad
Nola salad
Bahn Mi–Vietnamese poor boys, with:
»Char-grilled pork
»Lemongrass chicken
»Stir-fried shredded chicken
»BBQ minced pork
»Vietnamese ham
Combinations
»Vietnamese braised beef (almost like a roast beef poor boy)
Noodle dishes
Crispy bird’s nest, shrimp, beef, chicken, vegetables
»Stir-fried noodles
»Pad thai
“Bun” Dishes–Cool Noodles With:
»Char-grilled pork
»Vietnamese egg rolls
»Char-grilled pork & egg rolls
»Char-grilled shrimp
»Char-grilled lemongrass chicken
»Wok-seared steak
Fried tofu
Banh hoi (like Bun, but with steamed, pressed noodles)
Char-grilled pork
Char-grilled shrimp
Rice dishes
»Shakin’ beef (wok-seared cubed steak, honey mustard dipping sauce
»Roasted Cornish hen
»Char-grilled lemongrass chicken
»Char-grilled marinated pork, fried egg
Char-grilled pork chop, garlic, lemongrass, pan fried egg
Char-grilled marinated shrimp
House special fried rice with shrimp, roast pork, peas & carrots
»Stir-fried tofu & assorted vegetables
Stir-fried chicken & assorted vegetables
Stir-fried beef & assorted vegetables
»Stir-fried shrimp & assorted vegetables
»Stir-fried curry, with shrimp, chicken or beef
»Blended fruit drinks and bobas

FOR BEST RESULTS
Resist the temptation to order an entree with every protein in the house mixed into the matrix.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
These pho houses could all benefit from more variety on the menu. But the dining trend is with them now, so who am I to speak?

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service+2
  • Value +2
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness +2
  • Local Color

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Good for business meetings
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • No reservations

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