Cincinnati

Le’s Pho (Restaurant Review)

You have to know what you’re looking for to find Le’s Pho. The best location description is that it’s the little restaurant on the south corner of Vine and Court, that’s not exactly on the corner…it’s next to the optical store that went out of business, and you won’t know you’re there until you’re standing in front of it looking inside.

Once inside the Vietnamese lunch spot, you’ll notice it’s sparse, from the décor to the menu. Once you eat, though, you know the focus is on the food. I think you’ll be glad you made the effort to cross the non-traditional threshold.

The three main food options are Pho (soup, a ramen-esque dish), Bun (a noodle-based dish with a thin egg roll cut up and put on top), and Ban Me (the traditional Vietnamese sandwich). You choose the protein for each: chicken, beef, or pork depending on the item you pick. There’s a chicken rice dish, lo mein, egg roll, and crab rangoon. End of menu.

I should note, the menu is written on two big chalk boards which screams to me: “Subject to Change.” I like that because to me it means that the restaurant is flexible enough to not serve something of inferior quality because “they have to” just because that’s what the menu says they are supposed to have. If they are out of pork, they are out of pork. Period. But if they want to add or subtract anything, they can. Also, the staff explains the menu as if it’s the first time they’ve ever had to say it (when they obviously say it dozens of times every day.).

The food comes out quick and tastes super fresh. And, they serve hearty portions and a good value. The Pho and Bun are $6.75 (on April 24, 2017) and the Ban Me Sandwich is $4.00. When I ordered the Bun. I swore I wasn’t going to eat all the noodles. I couldn’t stop eating. But sometimes, there’s too much food. There are plenty of Pho plates left on the tables during the lunch rush that have food left from diners who have given up or were out of time. The Ban Me is a hot sandwich on a bun that works perfectly with the ingredients, is very filling  and, for the quality, an incredible deal.

Le’s Pho is a downtown lunch spot, open 11- 4 and very busy from 12:30 to 1:30. In temperate weather, people can eat outside, otherwise, everyone squeezes in and eats.

I really like going to a simple place to order a quick filling lunch. A no frills atmosphere should mean that the owners are spending their time providing good food at good prices. Le’s Pho is a perfect example of this philosophy.

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