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Cheap Eats—Pho Saigon

Whether you're looking for comforting soup or an adventurous beverage, Pho Saigon churns them out


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Pho has replaced french fries in Walnut Creek’s Newell Promenade. Taking over the space previously occupied by the old-school burger joint Taxi’s, Pho Saigon opened in late January, bringing fresh Vietnamese cuisine to hungry downtown lunch-goers. The budget-friendly menu, dominated by the popular rice noodle soup pho, has been keeping tables full with an already-steady clientele—especially at lunch, when Kaiser employees sport work badges and Broadway Plaza shoppers tuck Nordies shopping bags under their tables.

A bowl of pho ($6.75–$7.95) consists of thinly sliced beef (pick from tendon, tripe, or brisket, to name a few), fresh basil, lemon, and bean sprouts served in a steaming broth. Appetizers range from lighter options such as the fresh spring rolls ($4.25) to the weightier house special, fried shrimp cakes ($6.50). Generously portioned entrées such as the grilled beef over vermicelli noodles ($7.50) are packed with flavor; meanwhile, the combo plate—a grilled pork chop, fried chicken wings, and egg rolls over rice—can satisfy heavy-duty appetites for $7.95.

Although the spacious restaurant offers speedy service, there’s also takeout for those on the go.

Talk Soup: Pho is not the only soup on the menu; vegetarian egg noodle, and wonton and egg noodle soup are available, and start at $6.75.

Daring Drinks: Try Che Ba Mau—also known as the “rainbow drink” for its colorful tri-layered bean gelatin packed into a milk shake glass ($2.75)—or an avocado smoothie (3.25) for dessert.

Daily Deals: Everything on the menu, whether it’s pad Thai or even a thin-crust pizza, is under $10.25

Pho Saigon, 1560 Newell Ave., Walnut Creek, (925) 296-0777. Lunch and dinner daily.

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