I’m a huge (HUGE!) fan of Asian cuisine and I think a lot of that comes from my upbringing. (This would be a good time to read the “about” section…hint hint.) However, for those who don’t know, I am a full fledged island girl. I was born in Hawaii and raised on Guam. Both places have large Asian communities– Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean and Taiwanese for example, are all represented. They’ve influenced art, style, and most importantly, food. For many who grew up on the islands, Asian cuisine is truly comfort food. It’s always nice when you find a really good Asian restaurant out here in the states. I have a handful of favorites on the West side, but good Asian cuisine is harder to come across on our side of the state. Luckily for me, I’ve found a gem in little ol’ Moses Lake.
Pho Saigon is one of the first restaurants I tried when I first moved to town five years ago. It’s since become my go to place when I am craving Asian food. If you can’t tell by their name, Pho Saigon specializes in Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup made with rice noodles, meat and herbs. There’s nothing like a steaming bowl of Pho when it’s cold out, or when you’ve had a long week. Cotey loves their Pho Saigon combo- with beef flank and tendon and meatballs. They also have Pho for those who prefer chicken, seafood or even tofu instead of beef. You can also build your own noodle bowl and customize to your liking. I think they do a great job with their Pho. The broth is very aromatic and full of flavor and you can’t have great Pho without a great broth.
But Pho Saigon is more than just Pho. In fact there are several other amazing menu items that I swear by.
There’s been only one time I didn’t order the spring rolls as an appetizer- and that’s because I ordered the fried egg rolls instead. Their spring rolls are perfectly wrapped and come with herbs, rice noodles and your choice of shrimp, pork, or both. I usually like both shrimp and pork although sometimes I will just choose shrimp only. You really can’t go wrong though. And ask for extra peanut sauce (trust me on this one). Their crispy wontons and crispy tofu are also worth a try if you’re looking for different appetizers.
This is Cotey’s absolute favorite dish on the menu. You basically get a huge bowl of vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, lettuce, cucumbers, bean sprouts, pickled carrots, peanuts and fish sauce. It’s also topped with your choice of meat. Cotey gets his with grilled pork though. He loves how all the flavors and textures mix together when you eat this dish. His tip? Add a generous amount of sembal (spicy chili paste) and hoisin sauce.
You can’t go wrong (in an islander’s eyes anyway) with a plate of steamed rice and grilled meat. Pho Saigon has some tasty meat skewers that are perfectly grilled every time. I like their pork and shrimp, but on occasion I will order the chicken. They serve it with tomatoes and cucumbers and pickled carrots. So satisfying!
I love to top my meal off with a nice bubble tea (or boba as it’s called back home). They have a variety of flavors there, but my favorite is papaya. If you’ve never tried bubble tea, it’s basically blended tea mixed with fruit and milk or sometimes flavored syrups. Bubble tea also has tapioca balls on the bottom which puts some people off but I absolutely love them!