Downtown Thai-Vietnamese restaurant opens this week

Oct. 7, 2019

Pho Thai plans to open Friday inside Shriver Square downtown.

“It feels like a dream come true,” owner Kim Ueng said.

“It’s definitely impressing people. We want to get open as quick as we can because it’s that time and people are very interested.”

Pho Thai took over the former Cookie Jar Eatery space, which moved across the hall.

It has been redone with a look Chen said is authentically Asian.

“It turned out the way I wanted it to be,” he said. “Everything was imported.”

Ueng also owns and operates Toyko 26 at 4511 E. 26th St. and Tokyo Japanese Cuisine at 4825 S. Louise Ave.

For Pho Thai, he spent considerable time in the region sourcing dishes and ingredients, he said.

The menu will be the same for lunch and dinner.

“People will find Thai and Vietnamese combinations,” Ueng said. “It’s not a big menu, but what we have is very authentic. The aroma, the atmosphere, the coziness, everything definitely feels like you are in a different country.”

Appetizers include Bangkok spring rolls and baked green mussels with a sauce specially made in Thailand.

There are classic Thai entrees, including pad thai, made with rice noodles, shrimp, eggs, bean sprouts and a sweet and sour sauce.

Five varieties of curry will be offered.

There’s pineapple fried rice.

And the namesake pho appears on the menu as well.

“We make it from traditional beef bones, and we boil it at least eight hours and put spice in it,” Ueng said. “And while it’s boiling, we throw in a pot roast, so it’s basically like beef stew served with noodles.”

And for Vietnamese fare, he recommends the banh mi.

“It’s crispy, American bread with the outside crispy and inside soft, with some radish and pork barbecue, and you eat it like a sandwich.”

Ueng plans a few days of training this week and said he has a full staff hired.

“Our chef is flying in on Tuesday, and we’ll have a few days to prep, and we’ll be ready to open.”

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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Downtown Thai-Vietnamese restaurant opens this week

Pho Thai plans to open Oct. 11 inside Shriver Square downtown.

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