Guam Diner Bytes: Pho Cafe

by Ken Stewart
The Guam Food Guy

Pho Cafe Vietnamese Restaurant has only been open a few months but they have established a loyal and steadily growing customer base by serving big portions of tasty food at affordable prices.

Pho Café serve a la carte menu items for most of the day and have Fast Food Lunch choices from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The dining room is spacious and well air-conditioned. There is a large screen TV on in one of the corners.

When I first entered I was greeted and seated by a polite young man who definitely had some customer service experience. He was engaging and spent time introducing some of the menu items. Eric is his name and he is definitely a man on a mission to serve his customers! For this review, I ordered a sampling of appetizers and entrees.

For starters I had the Fresh Lumpia (two pieces - cut in half and served with peanut sauce). I ate one and had the rest packed for takeout. These were so-so, with plenty of rice noodles as filler, a piece of pork and a piece of shrimp, lettuce leaf and bean sprouts. The truth is that I’ve been spoiled by Mary’s fresh lumpia, as well as by Vivan’s home-prepared fresh lumpia. The peanut sauce was on the bland side so I wasn’t too excited by this other than the fact that it was relatively “fresh.”

The next item delivered was the Chicken Lemongrass (served with Rice) for $7.50. This was better for me as there was a lot of garlic and pepper sauce mixed in with the onions and lemongrass. This dish comes with a side salad on the plate and of course they have a bottle of 1,000 Island dressing! This was a little different appearance than I’m used to as this had a red chili sauce tint. I ate some and took the rest to my office.

Then came the beef kelaguen (spicy, $9.50), which is made with beef, onions, cucumber and lettuce, served with rice. This is a large portion and is definitely replete with flecks of chili peppers. This is not a “hot” burning dish, just spicy.

Next to be served was the Salt & Pepper Shrimp (served with rice and salad, $10.50). This was another unusual preparation as the shrimp was battered and fried. The dish is filled with sautéed onions and well seasoned. All in all it’s a fairly flavorful dish.

My final order was the fried spare ribs (served with rice and salad). If you are a spare rib fan, you’ll like these as they are meaty and have a little bit of seasoning on them. They have a dipping sauce that was not finadene (could have been an attempt). I ate a couple of ribs without the sauce as it was a bit pungent.

Pho Cafe has about 65 menu items and the most expensive item costs $12.50 (Fried Tilapia or Sweet & Sour Tilapia). They have party trays (if you order five or more trays you get one tray of fried rice for free). I’ll have to come back sometime and try their Pho (beef soup) and Combination Crispy Fried Noodles ($12.50).
Stop by Pho Café and let Eric walk you through the menu!

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