Ever since a co-worker told me Pho Dau Bo was his favourite place for sate beef pho in Calgary, I’ve been wanting to check this place out as I was curious to find out just exactly how good it was. I finally had the opportunity one lunch hour two weeks ago. With two of my co-workers in tow, we ventured over to Pho Dau Bo. This eatery is located in the Little Saigon strip mall on 17th Avenue SE, which is also often known as “International Avenue”.
We started off with an order of #27. Goi Cuon ($6.50), which consisted of 3 salad rolls filled with shrimp, shredded pork, lettuce, and vermicelli noodles. The salad rolls came with a side of peanut dipping sauce. Both my co-worker and I agreed this was one of the best tasting peanut sauces we’ve had for dipping salad rolls. The salad rolls themselves were freshly made and were plump with lots of shrimp and shredded pork instead of filler like lettuce and vermicelli. All in all, this was one of the better versions of salad rolls that I’ve had.
All three of us decided to order A. Pho Sate Ga Hoac Bo ($8.50 for regular size; $9.50 for large), which basically translates to Spicy Noodle Soup served with Chicken or Beef. All three of us chose the beef version. When we were perusing the menu, we had gathered that this must be the most popular item at Pho Dau Bo since there was a separate category in large letters called Pho Sate – Sate Noodle Soup at the top of the menu, with this item being the only item in that category. For a dish to deserve a category of its own and be a the top of the menu in large letters, it must be good.
Overall, I thought this Sate Beef Pho was very, very good. I wouldn’t say this is the “ultimate” sate beef pho. But then again, it’s very hard to compare pho sate at different places as each place puts their own unique twist to it. The broth at Pho Dau Bo is a bit thinner than other versions of pho sate that I’ve had. But it was still very spicy, complex, and flavourful. The beef slices were very tender and the rice noodles were perfectly al dente. Would I go back to Pho Dau Bo to have this pho sate again if I happen to be in the neighbourhood? Most definitely. Would I drive 45 minutes across town specifically to have a bowl of this pho sate? Probably not.
The restaurant itself was very clean and modern. The service was very good. Our server was friendly and prompt. And our food came our very quickly. That’s pretty much all I ask of a place when I just want a quick delicious bowl of pho.
Pho Dau Bo
110-4909 17 Avenue SE