Any feed back on Friend or Pho?
The new Friend or Pho at 2329 West Main Street has one review on Menuism and it’s very positive, another on Yelp that’s a little cranky.
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Tagged Friend or Pho, Main Street
I haven’t eaten there yet, so I can’t really judge, but I just want to say that it bothers me that the name of the restaurant encourages people to pronounce the word “pho” incorrectly. Hopefully the food is good. :)
That’s the 2nd comment to that effect that I’ve seen. How is the word supposed to sound?
Pronounce it like “fuh.” I’m hungry.
The atmosphere there is nice, very good beer selection. Bartender was very good but that’s about it. Food was horrible. No authenticity, a lazy attempt at doing asian influenced food. The pho was horrible, if they should even call it that. Don’t think they did their research on the ingredients for pho…noodles were wrong and broth tasted nothing like a pho beef broth. Eggrolls weren’t too bad but you can’t really mess that up. Overall really disappointed with the food but happy with the service. Oh and the name…really?
I’m eager to try the place, but from the looks of the bouncer, the owner’s cheezy Shockoe bar (Lucky Buddha), the tasteless name, and instant adoption by the Robinson/Main bar scene stampede, they’ve already got their model in place and food’s got nothing to do with it. That Yelp post is telling. She’s a server and identifies that she’s Asian. After compiling a bunch of negative details, she basically says the place is disrespecting Asian cuisine/culture and food service in general. Well, that’s how I read it. But, a good rice noodle salad could change my mind.
I think the review on Menuism sounds like it was written by someone who’s promoting the restaurant. It sounds more like the restaurant’s vision statement than an actual review.
Food was terrible. Could be a cool bar, but our waitress (though very sweet) didn’t know what beer they had, so my first experience was all around bad.
FOE. i had a very similar experience to what was published on yelp. i ordered the brooklyn lager, which was unavailable. fine, whatever. the eggrolls weren’t bad, but like someone said, you can’t really mess that up. the pho was terrible. not a lot of pho in a really small bowl and a lot more expensive than what you’d get in the west end. if you’re going to charge that much for for little pho, it better be good, and it wasn’t. so we get the check and it turns out they did put the brooklyn lager on our check. took forever to get the waitress to remove it from our bill and now i have to keep logging in to my credit card account to make sure that they didn’t mischarge. the good things: attractive waitresses, nice ambiance. other than that, go somewhere else for good food.
I disrespect Italian food everytime I go to Papa John’s.
You disrespect food, period, if you come to this Friend or Pho place. Its just not very good.
I ate there last night and really enjoyed my meal. The Noodle Salad in particular was very good. Not sure what everyone did not enjoy…
For people who have such strong opinions about authenticity and the like, you sure don’t know the difference between “eggrolls” and “spring rolls”…I tried several items from the menu and they were all good, hot and fresh. Just because things are done differently doesn’t mean they are wrong or bad. There was also a great beer selection from what I could see.
a little bit defensive, aren’t we? do you work there? it’s my opinion and you can choose to follow it or not. if you really love the place, good for you. what’s funny is we did order the spring rolls, and they gave us something more similiar to egg rolls. it was something i didn’t harp on since they tasted fine. unfortunately, the pho lacked authenticity when it came to taste. i’d rather go to pho so 1 for more authentic vietnamese food. you are right about the beer selection, but the beer that we asked for was not available.
Not quite, but I do live on the block and I enjoy supporting small local business. You are right about Pho So 1, they are amazing at what they do…on the other hand, there are many different variations of pho.
We ate there yesterday. What a waste of a tank of gas & money on food! It was HORRIBLE! I took maximum 10 bites. I tried dressing up my pho with all the condiments available. There was NO saving that pho. I was hungry hence the 10 bites! Otherwise, I would have just sent it back. To give you a visual, my bowl looked FULL like I’d never touched it. The waitress had the NERVE to ask me if I wanted a to go bowl. I looked at her like she was crazy and said NO! If I were Vietnamese I’d be insulted! How dare you call this Pho! I hope everyone saves their money on the food. Just go for the beers.
DO NOT GO HERE FOR FOOD!
- I went there friday night with my girlfriend. We thought the name was so cute that we just had to try it. Well, the enthusiasm ends there. First off- walking in the place, it seems pretty cool. The whole chalk board ceiling is different and makes the actual restaurant itself interactive but trust me, you’ll get over that aspect quick. We had the choice to sit down at any table since it was so desolate- and on a friday night at that. That should’ve been a sign already but we insisted on going through with dinner there anyway. We picked a table and instantly I was unimpressed. I’m not sure what the owners are trying to go for in terms of ambiance but the empty beer cartons in which they set the condiments in seemed very cheap and tacky. I understand that they have a great beer selection but I would’ve been much better off if they had just set the condiments on the table without using the cartons.
- As for the actual dinner, we started off with the Winter Roll. We are both pescetarians and don’t eat meat but seafood. That was a disappointment. If I’m going to pay extra for spring rolls with seafood, I would hope it would live up to the price. It was bland and even the sauce that they serve it with was tasteless. We had to use the hoisin and siracha to add some flavor. The vegetarian spring rolls at Pho So 1 near horsepen are first class compared to FoP’s rolls. We both ordered the vegetarian pho since it’s pretty much the only choice we had. That was disgusting. Tasted like hot water with noodles and veggies. I could’ve done without the carrots and mushrooms in my soup. OK- maybe they’re going for a more modern version of the traditional pho… that’s a total failure. We practically used the entire bottle of hoisin at the table just to make it edible. I hadn’t eaten all day so I had no choice in finishing my noodles. I’m thinking that maybe their meat choices are better but if you’re going to appeal to a wider audience, you need to cater to the vegetarians and make sure it’s GOOD! Especially if you’re going to make the meat option & vegetarian option the same price.
- Overall, this place is a major flop. Going to Pho So 1 is better quality and cheaper at that! But if you want to stay in the Fan then might as well hit up Sticky Rice which is right down the street. My advice, if you’re craving for some Pho, make that extra drive to Pho So 1 and then come back to FoP for drinks. That’s all they’re good for.
[...] recent Richmond.com review of Friend or Pho? get at the gripes of the nay-sayers: If you’ve come to this review looking for such a debate, you’re in the wrong place. To lump [...]
Wow, I ate here and REALLY LIKED IT! The Spring rolls were delicious, and the pho was great! The pho itself reminded me of pho I’ve had at Saigon on Grace. It was yummy, and the service was great. I have no idea why there are all these negative reviews of the food.
IMHO, Pho itself relies on a beautiful broth, and that is not what Friend or Pho has to offer. Instead, they serve up a small portion of a cloudy, murky, bland broth that tastes store-bought.
If you’re going to put the name of a food in the name of your restaurant, make sure that item is exceptional, or you open yourself up to the kind of vehement criticism that FoP has been getting all over the web.
Also, I agree with all the comments on how ill-thought-out the name is in the first place. I find businesses with ‘punny’ names to be a little trite, and if you’re going to try to make a pun, at least make sure you’re pronouncing all the words correctly.
Stick with people who know — Pho So 1 and Pho Tae Do are fantastic and, really, worth the trip.
My wife and I go to Pho So 1 once a week…the food is great! We were interested in trying Friend or Pho because we live in the Fan and it is much closer to home. Like others have said, the atmosphere seems pretty cool, but that’s about all the place has going for it. The pho is HORRIBLE…it tastes like Campbell’s beef broth with sliced deli roast beef thrown in with some noodles….I will never eat there again! What a waste of money! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME EATING HERE!!!
Friend or Pho is a cool bar…that’s it. The food is not average at best.
Pho So 1 is your best bet if you’re looking for delicious Vietnamese food.
The bartender attempted to steal my money!!!
I tried Friend of Pho out for the first time a few days ago. I’ve never tried Vietnamese food and I wasn’t feeling adventurous so I just sat at the bar and decided to have a few drinks.
The beer menu is impressive, I’ll give them that. It was still Happy Hour so I decided to go with a PBR while looking over the selections.
The female bartender asked if I wanted to start a tab. I only had cash on me so I told her no and gave her a TWENTY.
She brought me the beer but not the change! She put my TWENTY DOLLAR BILL in the tip jar! I stared at her for a minute because I thought she was joking. She walked away and I called after her. She refused to look in my direction and completely ignored me! I had to get up and tell a waitress that I just ordered a PBR with twenty dollar bill and I wasn’t given any change; that it all went in the tip jar. I politely told her that I would not be tipping 18 or 19 dollars for a PBR because my name isn’t Donald Trump. She gave me my change and I just walked out of there. WTF?!
Me and my friend went there the other night!!!it was fun, I dont know everyone is being so negative? Waitresses and 2 blond bartenders were hot, food was delicious and beer tasted fantastic, I tried Delirium and Dead Guy ones! Worth visiting especially if you live in a fan area!
[...] Craig has some words on Friend or Pho? that echo an earlier discussion: Friend or Pho’s namesake pho should be avoided, not just by authentic Vietnamese food [...]
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