Pho Pasteur Saigon has been one of my favourite Vietnamese restaurants for a long time now. They have been around for as long as I can remember and I’ve been living here in Calgary for over 12 years now. Their menu is simple and straightforward. They mainly specialize in pho (beef noodle soup) and this is reflected in their menu as the majority of the menu consists of different variations of beef pho. And even though they are hugely popular and there are always line ups during the lunch hour, they are amazingly fast with their service. On many occasions, I have managed to be in and out of there in less than half and hour, so don’t let the line ups discourage you from going.
My two favourite items on the menu are #25 Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio (Rice vermicelli with Vietnamese spring rolls and grilled pork) and #18 Pho Tai (Beef Noodle Soup with thinly sliced rare steak). On this recent visit, I ordered the Pho Tai ($6.95 for medium; $7.80 for large). Even though I’m a huge fan of spicy food, I’m not a fan of their beef satay pho. This is more of a personal preference thing more than anything else as each place makes their beef satay pho differently. Instead, I like to get their plain beef pho (Pho Tai) with the tender slices of rare beef and add the little chilies to the soup to kick it up a notch. Anyone can cook decent rice noodles but not everyone can make a good broth. And with pho, the secret is in the broth. What I like most about the pho at Pho Pasteur is, of course, the flavour of the plain beef broth. The broth has been very consistent all these years although I did notice on this visit that the broth seemed milder. All the flavours were still there, but it was just not as bold and concentrated as I remembered it to be. Typically I will only drink some of the broth when having pho at other places, but Pho Pasteur is one of the few places where I actually want to drink every last drop.
Not only is the pho delicious, the staff are friendly and efficient. The prices are very reasonable in comparison to other pho places. This is what keeps me coming back again and again.
Pho Pasteur Saigon
207 1 St SE