Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pho Xe Lua: I'm Trained to Visit

Pho Xe Lua on UrbanspoonOn Family Day Monday my wife visited the Art Gallery of Ontario for a day of art and culture.  For lunch we thought we would poke around to see if the newly renovate Art Gallery had any good place to eat with decent pricing. 

We knew the FRANK Restaurant would be out of the question as it looked very pricey so we thought we would try the AGO Cafe in the basement of the museum for some sandwiches and maybe a drink.  Then we saw the price of $8.00 per sandwich and, oh yeah and extra $1.00 if you wanted a drink with it.  $9.00 plus taxes for a saranwrapped sandwich and can of Coke? Really? 

We left the AGO for Spadina Avenue looking for some good Asian cooking.  We ran across the Pho Xe Lua (254 Spadina Avenue, Toronto) which we  had before and enjoy visiting a frequent basis. 

We entered and walked up the stairs where we were greeted and seated immediately. The serving staff brought us tea and picked up our menu order.

The Order: #108 - Pho with rare beef noodles and meatballs, #102 Pho with rare beef and tripe and gobs of tea to wash it all down.

The Pho was exactly like the Pho we normally enjoy at the Pho Xe Lua Vaughan location.  The Pho was excellent beef broth with rare beef and noodles.  My wife's pho, the #102, was just as she had at the Vaughan location. 

The only hiccup was when we asked for the bill.  Like the Vaughan location, we really did not have a designated server, as customers you just wave down any passing waiter or waitress for assistance. 

We inquired with a server who was at the cash machine behind our table for our bill.  He looked mystified as to what we want and inquired where table 61's (our table) bill was punched in. He went to another machine at the kitchen area.  He looked at the screen there and was interupted by another customer who was dropping off payment. Next thing we knew this server was walking to the other end of the restaurant to serve another table. 

We flagged down a waitress who was at the machine.  She printed our bill in less than 15 seconds and handed it to us with a smile on her face like we were her best customers.  

Despite the small hiccup in service I would still recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for Pho and moden vietnamese atmosphere.

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