3195 S Grand Blvd
St Louis, MO 63118-1022
During our Spring Break weekend in St. Louis, I was determined to eat somewhere awesome. A couple of friends recommended Pho Grand, which considering our love of Vietnamese food, was a pretty easy sell. We headed over on Saturday night, between our morning and late night visits to the City Museum.
It was a short drive from our downtown hotel and I was also excited to see a new part of town. South Grand had a lot of Asian restaurants up and down the street, including our very own Sekisui. I would have happily eaten at Sekisui were I not on the lookout for somewhere "new."
We arrived around 7:30pm and could see people waiting outside for a table. When we went in to add our name to the list, we were given a buzzer and sent upstairs. There we found several other people waiting and became somewhat concerned that we might be in for a long wait. The monkeys (Satchel, 8, and Jiro, 6) only cared about getting back to the City Museum as soon as possible. They could care less about eating!
I kept the monkeys entertained by playing hand slap with them, which was fun. Several of the people around us--mostly couples--had drinks. I can only guess there was a bar downstairs and that they knew the drill. If we were smart, we would have asked for a menu to review, or at least looked online. When we were buzzed for a table fifteen minutes later, we soon found ourselves staring at a long and unfamiliar menu.
The restaurant was on the fancy side--I'd say it was closest to our beloved Vietnamese Bistro, which recently burned down. There were no other families dining, and I could see the look of fear on people's faces when we walked through the small dining room to our table.
I asked our waiter to recommend some dishes since we were at a loss. Jiro had already announced he wasn't eating and Satchel had decided on our standard noodles with eggrolls and pork. The food came out very quickly and looked great.
I especially liked the Cari Ga--chicken curry with rice.
Warren was a fan of the Tom Sautee--shrimp with garlic and onions.
I liked everything except the calamari that was mixed in with the shrimp. It had a chalky texture, which I attributed to the large cut.
The Bun Bi Cha Gio looked like we expected:
Satchel definitely enjoyed eating the pork off the top and slurping the noodles. (Yes, he has a bad habit of eating with his fingers!)
He also pointed out that one piece of pork looked like a dragon.
Warren and I ended up helping him finish off the noodles and egg rolls. Jiro agreed to have a small portion of rice and a few noodles, which he painstakingly tried to eat with chop sticks.
I'm pretty sure the waiter suggested "safe" dishes for us. If we go back, I'll try something more exciting like the lotus root salad.
Our bill was a very reasonable $30 plus tip.
Another selling point of Pho Grand is the gelateria next door--Gelateria Del Leone. We popped in for a little dessert and coffee before heading back to the museum.