The Shaw's Plaza off North Main Street is a very strange place. Now that the Shaw's is out of business, the place is desolate and a little eerie. With no cars in the parking lot, and few shops doing business, it is a strange place for a good restaurant.
And yet, there is one.
Pho Horn is a Providence favorite. I have received numerous emails and comments mentioning this unassuming Vietnamese restaurant in the plaza, and last weekend, when Andy and I were trying to think of somewhere to get lunch, all of those emails and comments rang loud and clear in my memory and it seemed the perfect day to try it.
We had Thai Iced Tea:
This was the first Thai Iced Tea I've ever had, so I don't have anything to compare it with, but based on the delicious taste of this, it is going to be a new favorite of mine. You can just taste the fresh, almost bitter taste of the tea (a taste which I happen to love) under the sweet creaminess of the sweetened condensed milk. This is a very addictive drink!
I was starving, so I had to get the steamed Saigon Ravioli appetizer:
I love these dumplings filled with a mixture of chicken, pork, and vegetables. These were served with a nice ginger dipping sauce and definitely helped my raging hunger!
The main dishes came out shortly after (there were only 4 other people in the restaurant).
I had the Lemongrass Tofu:
Andy had the Chicken Curry (is anyone surprised!?):
Unfortunately, both of these dishes (that look a lot alike) were swimming in sauces that were much too salty. Then, they were both topped with peanuts, which made the dish even saltier. When I got a bite of tofu or vegetable that had only a splash of sauce on it, I was happy with the flavor. The lemongrass really came through, but then I would take another bite and all I could taste was salt. Andy had a similar experience with his curry, and neither of us could finish our plates.
I was disappointed by our main dish experience, because I had really expected a lot from Pho Horn. Perhaps I ordered the wrong things- and I considered this as I made my order. I'm sure the Pho is the winner at this restaurant, but neither Andy nor I like beef noodle soup very much.
For those of you who are fans of Pho Horn- what dishes do you generally order? I am not giving up on this place, because I don't believe that from all of the people who mentioned this restaurant to me (including some very serious foodies!), this restaurant deserves a bad review. I am willing to give it another chance, but I want to walk into Pho Horn feeling a little more confident about what to order!