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“generally dependable, good value, good pho”

Pho Ben Thanh Viet Thai Restaurant
Ranked #41 of 364 Restaurants in Waterloo
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: Asian, Thai, Vietnamese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Kids, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
Elora, Canada
Level Contributor
59 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“generally dependable, good value, good pho”
Reviewed April 9, 2014

I see people ordering the pad Thai, but in my experience that is one of the least authentic and tasty dishes here. Viet salad rolls, pho soup #105, chili salt fish or shrimp, green curry chicken, Singapore noodles, Viet Ice cappuccino and a few others are standard on our visits.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Aboyne-ian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    33
    41
    20
    10
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Always terrible service, food is a hit or miss”
Reviewed March 8, 2014

Sometimes I question whether the management conducts meaningful interviews with potential employees or if they just hire a bunch of whorish Asian girls. Every time I go, there are way too many staff, most of them with their cleavage out. Half of them seem keen on chatting amongst themselves or screwing around. Every time I go, there are 4+ FOH members sitting around or chatting, while around my table, there are unbussed tables and water glasses sitting empty (not only at my table, but at other tables). Food can be good at times and really bad at other times. One time, I ordered the pho and had to excuse myself to go vomit after eating it. It was disgusting and the meat had a strange smell to it, but I was hungry so I ate it anyway. I work as a server myself (5 years now), and I know a terribly run restaurant when I see one. The only reason Ben Thanh in Waterloo does well is because food is cheap and friends of the staff frequent. I've come here one too many times: and after my last experience, I will not spend another dime at this dump.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Craysian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
waterloo
Level Contributor
76 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“good food at affordable prices”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

I have been there half a dozen times and usually order the vermicelli bowl with spring rolls or the Singapore noodles. Good value. Some of my friends have had several of their soups, including the wonton, and keep going back.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank edulinx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great food, usually terrible service”
Reviewed January 2, 2014

The food is always excellent. There is an incredible array of variety and it is super delicious. It is also cheap (you can get stuffed for under $10/person or you can get dangerously close to exploding for under $15). This is why it is always packed. People don't come for the service; they come for the food.

It will never come in order or together so everyone can eat at the same time. Just don't expect that. We've had appetizers come after mains; drinks not arrive until after the meal; everyone but one person received all their food and then that one person had to wait for another 10 minutes before they got theirs. The servers are curt if not rude, they don't check up on you, and they don't seem to have any sense of alarm when something is wrong with your food. The hostesses are more concerned with checking their cellphones and chatting with people behind the bar. Expect to be glared at if you are taking more than half an hour to eat your food while they're busy, they try to turn around tables as fast as possible.

We've come up with a formula that the worse the service the better the food. My friends and I used to be regulars at that location, but the service eventually just got too appalling, we now only go if the Waterloo location is more convenient. If you want great service and great food, go to the Kitchener location. The only good thing I can remark about the service is that they do take great care with allergens.

The venue has gotten a facelift over the past year or two and it looks much nicer. However, as of my last visit, the crockery leaves a lot to be desired (much like the service really), lots of chipped plates and cups, cracked glasses, that kind of thing.

Attempts to complain have resulted in everything from being avoided all night to sudden loss of all English skills in the staff(I kid you not).

In summation, if you love the chain's food, avoid the Waterloo location or don't and save on tipping. Dinner and lunch are always busy, so reservations are recommended, but it is definitely worth the wait.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank WanderingElla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Awesome pho - be sure to make a reservation!”
Reviewed December 15, 2013

Went with a group of 5 and everyone got phö. I'm a wimp with food so I got the beef and chicken phö (#115).

So good! It wasn't too oily and the noodles for some reason tasted better than I thought they would. At $9, it was a pretty cheap lunch as well!

The only problem was that the person in front of me had a reservation and still had to wait 25ish minutes for a table for lunch... I felt bad for that group. Oh and definitely make a reservation for lunch otherwise I heard the wait can be 40 minutes!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank David F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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