Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pho Mac Vietnamese Restaurant - Staten Island, NY

We were driving through Staten Island the other day and decide to stop for dinner. It's probably like my fourth or fifth time in Staten Island, so I had no clue what's good to eat there. Kevin on the other hand works in Staten Island, so he was given the very important task of deciding where to go for dinner. He suggested a few places and we finally went with Pho Mac. He says that he would sometimes have lunch there (since it's rather near his office) and that it's pretty good. Sounds good!!
Parking at Pho Mac can be quite a challenge, especially during busy hours. We had to park at a side street about a block away from the restaurant because there was very limited street parking in front of it. The restaurant itself has two levels and since the lower level was full, our server brought us upstairs. The decor of the two levels were totally different! It seriously felt like two different restaurants! The lower level was pretty much your regular hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant, with basic tables and chairs and minimal decor. Upstairs was wayyyyy nicer. They had nice booths and really nice and rather upscale decor. The servers were all really friendly and they seem to know a lot of the customers (regulars I presume) on a personal level. One thing that kinda bothered me was that all of the servers were speaking in Cantonese. I knowwww, it's a little bit silly to assume that in order for the food to be authentic, the place should be run by Vietnamese instead of Chinese. However, it still made me go "Hmmmm? I wonder how authentic and good the food will be?" :P
We started off our dinner by sharing two appetizers. Of course, we had to order the Goi Cuon or better known as the Vietnamese Summer Roll ($4.75). It looked really yummy when they brought it out. However, when I took a bite, it was all rubbery. Something tells me that it was not freshly rolled upon order. I think it must have been sitting, pre rolled in the kitchen for quite a while. It wasn't flat out bad but I must also say that it wasn't really the best and freshest Goi Cuon I have had.
We also shared the Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring Roll). It comes in three sizes, Small (2 rolls for $3.25), Medium (4 rolls for $5.50) and Large (8 rolls for $9.95). We ordered the small and boy, it was really SMALL. The rolls were tiny! However, what it lacked in size was made up for in the taste department. Those tiny spring rolls were delicioussssssssssss. Crispy on the outside and the filling was really very flavorful. At that point, I was kicking myself and regretting that we didn't order the medium instead :P
For my main, I tried the Pho Dac Biet with Bo Vien ($7.75). A huge yummy bowl of rice noodles with beef brisket, frank, omosa, tendon, eye of round and beef balls in a some piping hot beef soup. The soup was good but it wasn't great! Compared to the pho from other Vietnamese restaurants in the city as well as other parts of Northern NJ, I would have to say that this was just alright. I would eat it but there is really nothing to shout about.
Kevin had the Com Suon Bi Cha ($8.25). Grilled pork chop with shredded pork and crab patty, served on a plate of steaming white rice. I tried a little bit of everything and I must say that it was really really good. Totally love the grilled pork chop and crab patty, sooo yummmy! I must definitely remember to order this the next time I eat there. So, overall Pho Mac is a pretty decent place. The servers were really really friendly, prices were rather reasonable and the food wasn't too bad as well. No wonder Kevin and his colleagues likes heading out to Pho Mac for lunch! :D

Pho Mac - Staten Island, NY
1407 Richmond Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10314-1553
Tel:(718) 982-9292/8283

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