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“Who knew?”

Pho Le Vietnamese Restaurant
Ranked #28 of 141 Restaurants in Red Bank
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Central New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Who knew?”
Reviewed January 18, 2013

We've only recently discovered Vietnamese food. There's a neighborhood joint we have tried which is okay, if not a little "challenging"... and others we've been to with friends in Brooklyn, that we thought were fair, at best.
Imagine our surprise then, when in early January we went with friends to eat at our favorite Vegan haunt (Good Karma Cafe, also located in Red Bank) and it was CLOSED! How dare they!
Well, being that it was a cold night, we went for a brisk walk down Broad Street to see what may be open. We window shopped at Red, the Blue Water Grill next door, The Bistro across the street (which my wife reminded me she does not like) and several others before coming to the conclusion, if we couldn't chow down on a healthy portion of WHEATGRASS and PRESSED SOY PROTEIN over STEAMED RICE we wanted something a little more exotic, from the Far East. Our friends had tried TEMPLE CHINESE cuisine up the block several times and rated it a solid, "Feh." So I suggested "Phole" across the street.
I have to say, we were NOT disappointed in the least bit!
Phole was PACKED. I mean packed. And on a cold night and relatively early still (I think we wound up there close to 7PM).
There is scant room to wait, but fortunately, we did not have to wait very long at all. And knowing what I now know, I'd gladly wait in future for this delicious and fabulously fresh food.
Naturally, Phole, like the name implies, serves a lot of "Pho" - the traditional Vietnamese Meal in a Bowl - and these are the REAL DEAL (This ain't no faux Pho at Phole, people!)
Pho is a hot meal unto itself, with fresh veggies and noodles and your choice of meat or fish or even "well-done brisket, tendon and tripe". Yikes!.
It's delicious and very filling - and saw lots of patrons enjoying these gigantic portions... but we passed.
Instead, we sampled various appetizers - Tasty shrimp dumplings, Fresh Summer Rolls, the Saigon Crepe - which are all yummy and good for sharing, but in fairness, I should say, my wife did not agree with me on the crepe, which she found more crappy they crepey. We really enjoyed their Summer Rolls - rice paper stuffed with shrimp, pork and noodles. You dip this in the Vietnamese version of peanut sauce (a little different than the more familiar Thai variety... but good).
The Steak Salad was the BEST I've ever tasted. No kidding. I rarely eat red meat and when I do it has to be cooked to perfection and be of high quality. This fit the bill. It was perfect.
To placate the Vegan lurking inside me, we had their Vegetable Fried Rice made with brown rice. Very nice and again, different from Chinese or Thai versions.
This would have been enough for the four of us but we were afraid it wouldn't be enough. Hence, we ordered not one but TWO dinner entrees. The Garlic Shrimp and the Lemongrass Curry Chicken. Although I was beginning to burst at the seams, I managed a plateful of both dishes and again, wasn't disappointed.
I like the service, too. They paced the dishes well so the table wasn't swimming in appetizer plates when the entrees arrived.
The tea was hot and fragrant.
The atmosphere is clean and light.
The prices not to exorbitant...
I will certainly be going back to Phole.
See you there?

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank FamilyGuy_from_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    26
    26
    4
    2
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“A bit on the loud side.....food is worth it”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Happy families can be loud when in a small, sound-bouncing place, but the joyful atmosphere results from the good eats. Food is worth the longish wait. They have take- out too. Generous portions. Good value.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank beaglesenior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Mall Atmosphere”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Just walk the other way, unless you like eating in a mall atmosphere. I couldn't get past the vibe to get to the food.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank artpulse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middletown, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Long-time Red Bank area Vietnamese favorite”
Reviewed November 26, 2012

Very attractive and delicious food. Very reasonable prices. Lovely warm family atmosphere. BYOB helps keep cost down.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Harvey_in_Middletown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great addition to the Red Bank dining scene!”
Reviewed November 3, 2012

A friend and I had lunch there, and we ordered an appetizer that was some sort of pancake/fritter with beansprouts. Well, it was so delicious and so filling, you almost didn't need the main dish afterwards. Nice serene atmosphere and reasonable prices.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Jerseygirltoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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