We are all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but some New Jersey towns are more Irish than others. (more…)
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
- Cost: $$
- Credit Cards: All Major
- Alcohol: BYO
- Parking: Public Lot
- Take Out: Yes
February 2, 2013
With seemingly hundreds of items on the menu, Pho Eden is a great spot not just for very good Pho, but for exploring all kinds of Vietnamese dishes and flavors.
In a strip mall just off Route 70, Pho Eden has a large, comfortable dining room with booths along two walls. On the Saturday afternoon we visited, the tables were filled, mostly with families. Customers seemed evenly split among Asians and non-Asians. Service is quick and very friendly.
A glance at the extensive menu reveals 906 numbered dishes! Looking closer, each new category skips ahead to the next hundred. Categories include vermicelli (rice noodle dishes), pho (rice noodle soups), pan fried noodles, rice dishes, and entrees with pork, beef and chicken. From the nineteen appetizers, we tried some very good steamed spring rolls. One appetizer really stood out though – the Bò Tái Chanh (#111 – rare beef marinated in lemon juice, with sliced onions and chopped peanuts). Tangy, beefy and crunchy all at once, I will look for this dish again.
Steaming big bowls of pho here are very popular, of course. I went all in, ordering the Pho Eden (Eden Special). The large white bowl of broth held rice noodles; slices of steak, brisket, flank, tendon, and tripe (do not be afraid of stomach lining); meatball chunks and scallions. From a separate plate you can add bean sprouts, basil leaves and raw jalapeno slices to your liking. Pho Eden does not skimp on the meats. It’s a very good pho, but the broth is not as rich as some other versions, like the pho at Saigon in South Plainfield.
I have discovered that Vietnamese restaurants consistently serve some of the best Wonton Soup around. Pho Eden’s version is excellent, with delicate homemade dumplings in a satisfying broth.
I should also mention the truly impressive list of bubble teas and smoothies, with flavors ranging from durian to avocado. My daughters enjoyed honey dew and mango bubble teas (the “bubbles” are tapioca balls – flavorless but chewy – that are a lot of fun to suck up through an extra wide straw) . For an unforgettable indulgence, order the iced espresso with condensed milk. The Vietnamese like strong, sweet coffee.