Simply Vietnam | Santa Rosa

I finally get Pho.

Served up in bowls the size and approximate volume of bathtubs, its a brothy Vietnamese blend of meat, noodles, and vegetables. People who love it absolutely covet the stuff. Everybody else (including me, until recently) sort of wonders what the heck the big deal is.

After giving it one last try, consider me among the converted.

Run by the Nguyen family, Simply Vietnam is housed in an area best known for, well, auto parts stores. Mom heads up the kitchen, the kids wait tables and dad pretty much makes sure everything’s running smoothly. Which it mostly does, despite the crowds slurping and sucking down gallons of Pho (pronounced ‘fu’ as in ‘fun’).

Which brings me back to my conversion, which I’ll sum up in 6 ways.

1. No gristle. I hate gristle. And it’s why I usually hate Pho. (Though I didn’t try the ‘tendon’ flavor. I can’t make any promises about that.)

2. Flavorful broth. Perfumed with lime and basil, it’s Heaven.

3. Generous plate of sprouts and such. (Though I didn’t get any mint!)

4. Condiments on the table: Fish sauce, plum sauce, hot sauce, etc. for optimum flavor enhancement.

5. Your pores never felt so good: Hot and steamy, it’s a facial in a bowl

6. $5.95 for lunch? Now, that’s a deal.

What else to try? Snack on the BBQ pork spring rolls ($4.25), which come with a tasty peanut sauce; and don’t miss the vermicelli, a perennial favorite. The B11 (grilled prawns & grilled lemongrass beef, $6.95) has crispy, grilled meat with just a hint of char.

Finish up with a Thai iced coffee (dad makes them himself) and a little rub of Buddah’s tubby belly on the way out. Or, uh, your own, It just depends on how much Pho you put away.

Simply Vietnam, 966 North Dutton Ave., Santa Rosa, 707.566.8910
Open Mon-Sunday for lunch and dinner. Take-out available.

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Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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2 Comments

  1. osted By: Pho lover (27/08/2007 6:48:10 PM)
    Comment: Simply vietnam is simply great for those of us who need our weekly pho fix. The soup is great. One does not need to go on a fishing expedition to find a piece of meat. If you like won ton soup with egg noodle you must try it here. Linda’s mom makes the won tons homemade. It is better than any I have had in San Francisco noodle houses.Last, unlike some of the hostile service in some of the soup joints, you will want to come back. A bonus in that they are very kid friendly and remember just how my picky 4 yr old likes his pho. No green stuff. Give them a try!
    Posted By: Pamela (10/01/2007 3:24:49 PM)
    Comment: Great place! Big portions, fresh ingredients, clean restaurant, fast service, very inexprensive. What more could you ask for! We had the chicken soup, fresh spring rolls, and vermicelli bowl with BBQ pork and egg rolls. All was delicious.
    Posted By: Chris (02/12/2006 11:13:34 AM)
    Comment: Ate here for the first time last night and it was GREAT! I haven’t had Pho before but I’m instantly addicted. Service was great and prices were even better! If you going to go for the extra large, it should last you for 2 to 3 meals. Great!
    Posted By: Katharine Graham Cracker (01/12/2006 5:07:40 PM)
    Comment: Pho fever is sweeping the nation. http://www.phofever.com/ I like the place on Stonybrook in the shopping center.
    Posted By: Ken Greenberg (30/11/2006 4:29:29 PM)
    Comment: My wife and I moved to SR about three years ago from the South Bay, where Pho is pretty much an established tradition. That’s not surprising, with a Vietnamese population of about 70,000 down there. Most of the Pho restaurants here are a bit Americanized for our taste, and talking to the owners we have heard the comment that there are not enough people here who appreciate the more authentic flavor you are likely to encounter in Santa Clara or San Jose. We have tried pretty much every Vietnamese restaurant in Sonoma County, and these guys are at the top of our list. I hope they are successful, as we intend to be regulars.
    Posted By: heather (30/11/2006 4:00:26 PM)
    Comment: I’ll have to check out Saigon. Haven’t been there. Regarding the pronounciation–now you HAD to go and confuse me again! :) I had the owner repeat it several times, but maybe its one of those ‘lost in translation’ things that we Americans just can’t quite say right. Thanks for the insight, though!
    Posted By: Vince (30/11/2006 3:50:49 PM)
    Comment: I am among the newly converted myself, having just jumped on the Pho bandwagon myself. I’ve had it at a few places in SF but only at Pho Vietnam in SR. I loved them all, though. Thanks for the recommendation! Oh, and I’ve mostly heard it pronounced “fuh”, about the same as your article states.
    Posted By: Clifton Buck-Kauffman (30/11/2006 7:23:01 AM)
    Comment: Pho is actually pronounced like Pha or Fa. I live in HCMC(Saigon) most of the time and that is what I hear.
    Posted By: Frank (30/11/2006 7:13:31 AM)
    Comment: Food is good, atmosphere is cold and stark. Table service not so good. Better place is Saigon down the street.

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    • Ate here at lunch today. Food was great as usual. Service plain Sucked!!
      Had to ask for tea twice.
      Took 4 different waitress to get sauce.
      Four different female workers walked past the register empty handed and did not even attempt to accept money for the bill, there were 3 other customers behind me.
      I just ended up leaving enough cash to cover the bill and tossed it on the counter and left, after another customer just said “F-it”, and stiffed them
      Too bad the service just keeps getting worse every time.
      Things were better when the guys ran the place.

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