Pot-O-Pho Vietnamese Grill
of 6 reviews
2254 Valley Ave, Winchester, VA - Map
On Sunday, August 27, 2017, my daughter and I had lunch in Ward Plaza at the Pot-O-Pho Vietnamese Grill at 2254 Valley Avenue, Winchester, Virginia.
It is open every day from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and offers dining-in and take-out service. The telephone number is (540) 667-5495; it no longer has a Web Page, but is at facebook.com/potopho/.
The floor layout and seating arrangements are much as they were for the Red Panda, the long-term former occupant of these premises. The receptionist’s stand is on your right as you enter, with a sofa next to it for people that are waiting.
The goldfish pool that the Red Panda had maintained in the left of the entry area has been removed and that space is now a small lounge with a sofa and a table with magazines.
A row of elevated small booths extends back along the wall to your right, and a divider on your left separates the rest of the dining area from the aisle along the booths.
This main dining area is divided into two sections by a cross divider partway down the room. Only the front section is now used, and has tables along the sides and in the middle; the back section is blocked from the public. There were no TV screens, and low background music was not at all intrusive.
Further back, the original steam tables for the Red Panda buffet are still in place on the left, unused; buffet service is not currently provided. A small room is on the right in the back, and the kitchen and handicapped-accessible rest rooms are in the center and left rear.
We seated ourselves in one of the small, elevated booths. The place settings had both chopsticks and metal spoons and forks, but no knives. The menu is a folder with three clear plastic leaves with two-sided inserts.
Categories include Starters, Salads, Pho Noodle Soups, Special Soups, Rice Dishes, Fried Rice, Rice Noodle Bowls, Vegetarians, Chef Special Entrees, Drinks, Smoothies, Desserts, and Sandwiches.
While we researched the menu, my daughter had Vietnamese Ice Coffee and I had a large, heavy ceramic pot of hot tea, with a large ceramic cup with a handle.
The menu is much more elaborate than the one offered on my first visit, about a year and a half ago, and has a variety of selections under each category. There were only a few other patrons during our stay, and more people who like Asian food need to know about this place hidden in Ward Plaza.
From Starters, my daughter and I began with Fresh Garden Rolls: pork, shrimp, rice noodles, and lettuce, wrapped in rice paper and served with a peanut dipping sauce that was just right. We each ordered from the Chef Special Entrees, which had 19 selections.
My daughter chose Vietnamese Pancakes, crisply cooked and filled with pork, shrimp, bean sprouts, and onions, served with fish sauce. It takes 15 minutes to prepare, but good food is worth waiting for. I had Pad Thai.
Our orders were served on large, heavy, slightly warm ceramic platters. There was also a shared salad with a leaf of iceberg lettuce, other greens, and shredded carrots and radishes that neither of us touched. We both found the food good, and as usual, I took half of my serving home.
Pot-O-Pho opened on March 12, 2016 on premises briefly occupied by 360 Seafood, a very short-lived successor to the Red Panda Buffet which had been located there for many years.
Finally a real Pho restaurant in Winchester. Ate here for the first on 19 Aug and really enjoyed the Tai Chin Pho. I believe that broth makes the pho and Pot O Pho has a good broth that isn't too sweet or in anyway is it bland. The rice noodles were pretty good... not too soft and the meat was slowly cooking in the bowl when the pho arrived to the table. The fixing plate of fresh basil, sliced chilis, lime wedges, and bean sprouts was brought with the soup. The plum sauce and Sriracha sauce were on all of the tables... I don't recall if there was a bottle of fish sauce on the table also... All in all this was an enjoyable lunch and will become a regular weekend lunch stop for me. After 20+ years of eating at a lot of Pho restaurants in the NoVa area it is really great to have one out here in Winchester.
Surprise Gem! I had a stigma about going over by the old Wards Plaza to eat, but you have to get over it and check this place out. The Pho was fresh and wonderfully flavored with seemingly newly picked herbs and vegetables. A taste that you normally have to travel 60 miles to the east to find. They also have takeaway if you want to skip the sparse ambiance.