Playing on the rapid change of local weather here in San Diego, going from 90 degrees one day down to 60 (that’s like almost freezing for us) the next with thunderstorms and lots and lots of rain, nothing could be better than a giant bowl of Phở.
Remembering back maybe about 8-10 years ago when this place opened up, what could be more odd on this super busy corner of Center City Parkway and Mission Ave than the bright green colors of the signage on the side of this yet odd-shaped, or odd-facing building. If I remember, this used to be an American diner, or perhaps a Mexican Mariscos servicing the neighboring hotel/s in the same area and parking lot.
An odd-shaped building, and odd-colored green sign and an odd name. Perhaps the name is not that odd as I speak absolutely zero Vietnamese except Phở, Banh Mi, and maybe a couple other culinary dish names that I can’t think of right now. At least I know how to say Pho (pr. fuh) . . . duh!
The food here is just about as authentic Vietnamese as you’ll get anywhere, at least nearby. The Chinese food is also pretty darn good as I have had both here. I cannot get the wife to try the rogue Phở #1 (I think it’s number P-12 on this menu), but it’s their Phở Truc Xanh special combo with rare steak, well-done steak, flank, tendon, tripe and meatball. I say it’s a bit rogue because often times some of the cuts are a bit larger than the chopsticks can handle, and it requires a bit more WWF-style eating to get smaller chunks to palate. It is truly a warming experience on a rainy Southern California day. They don’t have another common Vietnamese Banh Mi that I am fond of that contains a pate’, but they did have them with pork, chicken or beef. I like the authentic pate’ style, so instead I consumed my Phở with just the Banh Mi (bread) only. A super fresh French-style roll that was just perfect today to go with my soup. Their Banh Mi is good.
What sets Phở Truc Xanh apart from others is the service. They treat you like family . . . , Vietnamese family. Yes, you might get, what seems to be ‘yelled at’ Asian counterpoint style (probably gonna get backlash for that one), but that is part of the love they show toward their customers. The food comes out super hot, super fast and every time with a very warming smile. They always ask if there is anything else, never try to push something on you, and their prices are very reasonable. It’s like visiting Vietnam, and I’ve never been; although it is one of my ultimate future dream culinary touring destinations. Yes, I have been to several other Asian countries while in the ‘old school’ navy.
Phở Truc Xanh gets very busy especially around the lunch hour. And if there happens to be a little cooler weather, you’ll find yourself waiting, but not long, for a table.
Parking is reasonably adequate if you can find the entrance. You must enter from the West, heading East, along Mission Ave. Then you turn in to the parking area on the right just before (like 3 car lengths) you get to the Center City Parkway intersection. Getting out of the parking lot is often times just a tricky.
For a wonderful Vietnamese dining experience with a staff that treats you like their own family, give Phở Truc Xanh a try. You’ll quickly find out why they have good ratings.