As a chef- I am always looking for a great local spot to have a fast fresh meal. If you are looking for a similar experience- this restaurant is not PHO you!
I have been in Colorado for a few weeks and I have found it impossible to get a decent meal. As a chef- reviewer I admit I a hard to please. Last night the meal was so bad I felt like Gordon Ramsay for a minute or two.
When I waked into Pho 95 I felt the relaxed warm atmosphere. We were lead to the bar to dine and we were quickly greeted by the bartender and offered drinks. One problem with the bar - the staff were sitting beside me talking about a competitor and socializing. I looked over the rather limited menu for a Pho restaurant and ordered spring rolls.I was confused by the menu as spring rolls are deep fried and salad rolls are fresh rice paper. I asked for the rolls without tofu- my dining partner ordered the same but with shrimp. THe peanut sauce was placed in front of us along with a variety of condiments that did not belong in a Pho restaurant. I tasted the sauce as I was waiting and it tasted like nutella- THe nuoc nam arrived and it had so much garlic I couldn't eat it. Both of the orders came out on a plate just large enough to hold them. hey were not cut in half and were like huge termite queens. When I cut them in half with my for- we were not given knives which is fine in most cases they arrived cut in half and plated to be appealing to the eye- Pho 95 is lost with respect to presentation. Inside my roll was nothing but shredded lettuce and vermicelli noodles and oh yes a few strands of tired carrot. Coming fron Toronto and with an enormous amount of Pho dining experiences- I was very disappointed. My partner's rolls were the same with a few spit shrimp- The fresh house chili sauce was so packed with garlic it was inedible.
A waiter walked by and literally threw the chop sticks and condensed cutlery beside my dining partner. After a reasonable wait the main courses came out- Once again the menu failed me- the noodles in the stir fry were fused together like licorice and cut into cubes- It was nothing like I expected and I felt outraged-Perhaps this was because I was very hungry. The chicken pieces were huge, uneven, badly butchered pieces of chicken breast- the vegetables were cold and over cooked and they used packaged crinkled carrots. The variety of vegetables was dismal and the 2 cold overcooked snow peas didn't make up the lack of fresh vegetables. The thin and very runny sauce was pure garlic and water. I tasted a few bites and pushed my plate away- My partners Rice Noodle Bowl was just as lack -lustre. An enormous bowl is presented and it contains in some form or another 3 types of protein- cold noodles and cucumbers and yes the crinkle cut carrots- The beef has the appearance and texture of dried beef jerky - the 2 shrimp- shell on were good. Oddly the dish came with a cut up deep fried spring or is that salad roll. It was a messy looking bowl with a total lack of eye appeal. I did not sense the kitchen cared about how the food looked or tasted. Nothing was very fresh and the flavours were overpowering garlicky and the sauces were the same-
The bartender noticed that I was unhappy with my meal and she removed it from the bill. While waiting for the bill we were discussing where we could stop for a quick bite-
Once again I eft a Coloradan restaurant very disgruntled. Pho 95 did not deliver. The restaurant is in the South Glen area and is an attractive layout and atmosphere. However the menu should focus on its verbiage and the cooks need to sharpen their skills- both with knives and with cooking technique. My dining experience was negative and I would not recommend this restaurant- it is not Pho you!