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Local Tastes Better: Pho Saigon

Tucson's Westside is continuing to surprise me in the best ways. Squeezed in between chain restaurants at big shopping centers, are local eateries worth your time! It has taken months to find them, so treat them well. Within Tucson Spectrum Center, is Pho Saigon waiting to serve up the freshest egg rolls, tastiest Thai Tea, and classic Vietnamese Pho, to earn your love.

Egg rolls are tricky business. A crisp fry on the roll without damaging the veggies, is not easy to do. Add too many veggies, and the flavor becomes too savory. This egg-roll snob digresses... THESE ARE MAGIC! I plan to have sheet pans of the egg rolls at my next family BBQ. My beloved carnivore-husband asked to take some to his next work party. FYI: these are different from spring rolls. Also yummy, but not what I'm talking about here.

Pho is a go-to in my house. For anyone sick; physically or spiritually. Drops of lime juice and Thai Basil leaves have the power to uplift even the snarkiest of moods. Tender brisket-like beef (or chicken, both are excellent), contrast with the crunchy bamboo shoots. A dark sweet Hoisin gives an umami to the simmering broth. Then stir in as much chili paste as your taste buds will allow. For new Pho-eaters, the small bowl is plenty for one, and the large easily feeds two people. Vermicelli noodles with chicken is a great intro-order to Vietnamese cooking. Swirled in a mild house sauce with vedge, this noodle bowl is comfort food.

For the kiddos: order the shrimp! A simple in flavor side most kids are willing to try. If the server asks you if a little sweet sauce on top is alright, "YES!" is the only answer. My toddler mini ate every last shrimp. Since dipping into sauces is forever popular for kids, the dumplings will be another winner. (PROVIDED, they make it past the adults!) The picture menu is a huge help for picky eaters. Should you really like your (big) kids, Boba Tea is a fun treat.

No other restaurant in Tucson has been kinder to my family than Pho Saigon! Both servers and the cook smiled as they delivered piping hot plates. They took the time to make my little's food first. Even putting a few dumplings to the side just for him. They loved us up! Why it is earth-shattering to have great service in 2020? I do not know. BUT. this makes me 100% loyal to Pho Saigon and an advocate for their food and friendliness!

Pho Saigon 5475 S Calle Santa Cruz, Tucson, AZ 85706 (520) 889-0980

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