I developed a taste for Vietnamese food when a small restaurant (sadly no longer there) popped up down the street from my condo in Clayton Park about ten years ago. Four years spent in Calgary – which boasts, I think, more Vietnamese restaurants than it does Tim Hortons – solidified it into an addiction. Luckily my husband shares my love of Vietnamese food (we’re working on our daughter), unluckily Fredericton’s offerings are… inadequate.
So when I spotted I Love Pho Restaurant during a vacation run on the Bedford Highway (long story), an immediate craving took over, and I knew we had to give it a try.
It was a little bit like nirvana.
The interior had fairly typical Vietnamese/Chinese diner aesthetic – you’re probably not going to come here for the ambiance, but we felt right at home in the cheerful and clean surroundings.
And I hope you do come here, because the food is excellent.
This unassuming spot on the Bedford Highway has the best Vietnamese either of us had ever tasted.
(We were a little worried that on our first try, we’d simply been overly enthusiastic due to the long drought of Vietnamese caused by our move to Fredericton, so we actually visited twice during our vacation as a quality check. Also because Vietnamese food.)
The Goi Cuon (rice wraps) were unusual in construction, but delicious. They had both pork and shrimp, as well as the usual noodles, lettuce, cucumber, and mint. The peanut sauce (fair warning: Vietnamese is not ideal for anyone with a peanut allergy) is the standard fare – which is to say, delicious.But the star of the meal was the Bun (vermicelli bowl). My barometer for Vietnamese food is the grilled pork, and I Love Pho did not disappoint. Juicy, full of flavour, and with just the right amount of char, the grilled pork at I Love Pho was right on the mark on both visits.
On our return visit, Gary tried the chicken and beef and they were both also delicious. The bowl included the usual pickled carrots & some other pickled vegetable (we never did figure out what it was), which was an excellent addition. The spring roll was delicious, and the sprig of fresh cilantro adds a nice punch. All the vegetables were fresh and crisp.
Honestly, my mouth is watering just writing this review.
And now I know why: in the process of writing this post I discovered that the owner of this delightful spot is none other than the owner of New Fortune – the now defunct eatery where my husband and I had so many dinners. She’s elevated her game though – New Fortune was good, this is fantastic.
Nicely done, Thu Tran. We’ll be back!
Try it for yourself:
I Love Pho Restaurant
746 Bedford Highway, Halifax, Nova Scotia