Steph and I were aimlessly driving around the other night trying to think of some local place that was still open at 9:15 on a weeknight. Unfortunately many chainfree places do not serve past 9. I had the urge to try out a new 24/7 Mexican place on West St., but our stomachs would just not tolerate the long haul to the west side on this night. We shamefully fell back on plan B which was going to be a Freddy’s steakburger, but as we pulled into the parking lot on N. Rock I spied our salvation and its name was Pho Hot Bistro. Pho Hot Bistro specializes in Vietnamese cuisine. It has been open on Rock for perhaps a year, and until recently had a sister location called Pho Hot on Pawnee. For those of you who have never tried Vietnamese food or are still scared about venturing off of Rock Rd. to eat, this is the place for you. It is safely tucked between McAlister’s Deli and Freddy’s and has recently been remodeled. It also has ample seating, so in other words it’s not your typical dive that we are so fond of. Some may complain that it is too sanitized and Americanized, but I think it is a good concept that may encourage people to try new food.
The menu is rather accessible to those who may be a bit leery of Vietnamese food. They have some of your typical appetizers that you would find in most Asian restaurants. The spring rolls are very good, although for the price I wish you would get a bit more. The Pho, which is a Vietnamese broth served with thin sliced meat, noodles, cilantro, peanuts, and bean sprouts is just the thing to warm you on a cold day. This time we both tried new dishes. Steph tried the Pork Po Boy sandwich, which came with thin sliced sweet pork, cilantro, a mayo sauce, and some julienne carrots served on a toasted bun. The sandwich was very good although it could have used a bit more pork. But in my opinion everything could use a bit more pork. I tried the combination vermicelli noodle bowl. It was piled high with shrimp, pork, pieces of spring roll, vermicelli, and sprouts. It came with a traditional Vietnamese sauce that is a combination of sweet, salty, and tangy tastes. Both of these dishes were great and we would highly recommend them.
If you happen to walk into Pho Hot with the intention of eating a steak from Amarillo Grill you would, surprisingly be in luck. The owner bought the rights to the old Amarillo Grills that were in Wichita, so they offer their famous steak at Pho Hot. Now I have never tried this, mainly because I have common sense, but if anyone out there has let me know!
So, your homework for this weekend is to go to Pho Hot so you can tell everyone that you tried Vietnamese food. Trust me they will be really impressed with you and probably ask if you have recently stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.