We went into a state of depression when Saigon II, the only Vietnamese restaurant in the Red Bank / Middletown area, went out of business. Then we passed Pho Le on Broad St and nearly jumped out of our skin. And for what we were looking for, it didn't disappoint.
PROS: Food and prices. The food is light, airy and delicious exactly as Vietnamese should be. The pho is redolent with lime and cilantro, and a touch of caramelized onion. The dumplings taste just-made, light dough with juicy pork and shrimp stuffing. The pad thai is also delicious. The prices are just divine, you can get so much food for such little cash. The portion sizes don't disappoint either.
CONS: Atmosphere and service, the reasons for 4 out of five circles. This place is literally nothing to look at, very bland and outdated already, which is unfortunate since the interior does appear new. The service was also a major hurdle. It appears they haven't hired enough staff for the demand, and it took over 20 minutes to get water or our order taken. But once they did, the food came out in a timely manner. Also, their waitstaff appears to be on the younger, inexperienced side as one of our waiters plainly told us they weren't serving their special Thai Iced Tea beverages (with a touch of attitude), and then proceeded to serve one to a neighboring party a few minutes later. We were in a large group, so it looked like they were easily overwhelmed by large groups.
If you're looking for a deliiicious Vietnamese lunch or dinner on the cheap and without any frills, then Pho Le is definitely the place. Just don't go in a hurry or expecting some dramatic interior decorating and white-glove service.
If you own or manage Pho Le Vietnamese Restaurant, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.