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Pho'ever

6929 Northwest Expressway
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 470-1888

Pho'ever Restaurant at Northwest Expressway and Rockwell

Pho'ever would be just one of many pho restaurants that are popping up in the suburbs of Oklahoma City except for the fact that it has a fairly extensive menu, and serves more than just pho. Included on the menu are stir fried noodles, fried rice, vermicelli bowls, rice platters, clay pots, and Chinese food such Cantonese noodle soup and American style Chinese dishes (sesame chicken, moo goo gai pan, etc.).

I have to say that I find the flavor of the Vietnamese food here to be more Americanized than I would like, with the vermicelli bowls missing some key ingredients such as the mint flavor. What keeps me returning, though, is the fact that the ingredients are good quality, meals are filling, and the food is very consistent.

I am not so enthusiastic about the Chinese food-- this seems to have gone from average to very inconsistent about fall 2013 when they seem to have changed cooks for the Chinese side of the menu (or at least this is what I hear). In any case, I really do not care for the Chinese food here, and my rating for the restaurant only applies to the Vietnamese food.

Pho with rare beef and well done brisket
Pho with rare beef and well done brisket

Pho is one item for which Pho'ever is one of the best anywhere in the city. Restaurants in the Asian District have more choices for broth, types of meat served, and ingredients, but I do not think they are so much better in quality that Pho'ever would not be comparable. To me the pho at Pho'ever is about as satisfying as any I have tried, except for the fact that only the rare beef is a choice that I think is exceptional. The broth is especially good here, and is comparable to many Asian District restaurants. To me the pho is clearly the best item I have tried at Pho'ever.

Bún with spring rolls
Bún with Vietnamese crispy spring rolls

Vermicelli bowls are one of my benchmarks for comparing Vietnamese restaurants, and Pho'ever has several varieties from which to choose. The Bún with Spring Rolls was flavorful and I would say better than several others I have tried. Everything seemed fresh, and the spring rolls were good, so to me it was only disappointing compared to others that I think include more ingredients and have a better "Vietnamese" flavor. The photo shows a white color of the vermicelli noodles, and to me the vermicelli bowls I prefer are the ones that have more toppings and other ingredients that give it more color and flavor.

Bún with grilled chicken
Bún with grilled chicken

While I gave the Bún with Grilled Chicken a lower rating that the one with spring rolls, it was in fact quite comparable in flavor and it is mainly a matter that I can get better versions elsewhere. As with the vermicelli with spring rolls, it seemed to be lacking in flavor and in certain ingredients that would make it taste more authentic. The chicken was good, though, and the same meat is available on other dishes such as the grilled chicken rice platter.

Canh chua
Canh chua

Vietnamese hot and sour soup, or Canh Chua is one of my favorite dishes, but I have found that very few restaurants serve it. Fortunately, Pho'ever is one that does have it, and in fact it comes with a choice of fish, chicken, vegetables, or shrimp. I think Kim Wah sets the standard for this dish in Oklahoma City, and the one at Pho'ever was comparitavely weak in flavor and missing some of the things I like (such as extra pineapple). What was good about Pho'ever's soup, though, was the chicken (and in fact it was probably the best I have had in OKC). The okra was very fresh, and this was a very nice touch (in fact, I think this is the only one I have tried in OKC that included okra). The broth was less flavorful than others I have tried, but still it was a very good soup.

Pork clay pot as a take home meal
Pork clay pot as a take home meal

Clay pot dishes are served in metal pots (except for take home orders such as the one shown in the photo), and they come with the distinctive sauce served in Vietnamese kho tô (clay pot) dishes. The Pork Clay Pot dinner was flavorful, and like the chicken I would say came with good quality meat. I have had similar plates in other restaurants that included vegetables on the side (lettuce, tomato, etc.) that made them much more enjoyable than the one at Pho'ever, but the one here was good in terms of quality.

Tofu vegetable clay pot
Tofu vegetable clay pot

The Tofu Vegetable Clay Pot was similar to the one with meat, except I would say the tofu does a better job of soaking up the sauce so that it has more flavor. Still, I would say this was nothing special without the side vegetables that usually come in other restaurants.

Grilled chicken rice platter
Grilled chicken rice platter

The Grilled Chicken Rice Platter had the advantage of coming with the side vegetables that were lacking in some of the other dishes. However, without the sauce of the clay pot dishes or the seasoning of the vermicelli bowls, it is hard for me to think of this as a special Vietnamese experience. The quality of the meat was good, though, as it has been in everything I have tried.

Pho'ever is one of the few restaurants in the city that serves hot tea brewed with loose leaves, and along with the good service this makes me prefer to eat in the restaurant rather than take food home. Prices are reasonable, and I have enjoyed it so much that Pho'ever has become one of my "regular" restaurants.

Bubble tea is served, as well as Vietnamese coffee and other drinks.

My Comments in a Nutshell
What I like most:
  • Vermicelli bowls
  • Hot tea is made with loose leaves
Disappointments:
  • Some of the Chinese dishes I have tried have really been poorly executed, and none of the Chinese food is what I would call excellent
Things to know:
  • Pho is probably the best dish here, but there is not much variety
  • The vermicelli bowls do not include mint--because of this I do not think they are excellent, but I think they are very good otherwise
  • Has a good selection of bubble tea (but I have not tried it)
  • Modern building with ample room between tables--seems to be handicapped accessible in all aspects
  • Pho seems to be about 80% of the items ordered here
  • In summer 2011 they had Bun Bo Hue as a special, but it has not been served since (and I have not seen any other similar specials)

RESTAURANT DETAILS

RATING: 22

Cuisine: Vietnamese
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily except Sun. evening
Accessible: Yes
Tea: Jasmine (Loose Leaves)
MSG: Yes (but not noticeable on the Vietnamese food)
Smoking: No Smoking
Buffet: No

Most Recent Visit
Apr. 30, 2014

Number of Visits: 10+

Best Item
Pho

Special Ratings
Pho:
Bún with Spring Rolls:
Bún with Chicken:
Bún with Pork:
Grilled Chicken Rice Platter:
Rice Platter with Pork:
Canh Chua:
Pork Clay Pot:
Tofu Vegetable Clay Pot:

Restaurant Menu
Pho Ever menu



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