Pho Yuen Dong (CLOSED)
217 Quincy Avenue, Quincy, MA 02169
--- Winner, Best Vietnamese Restaurant in Boston Area, 2006 ---
It is common knowledge that the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester is often seen as the place to go in the area for good Vietnamese food, and indeed, that is true to at least some extent, anyway. But there is another restaurant that is a bit further south of Boston that competes well with the Dorchester restaurants. And while Pho Yuen Dong may not be a name that is typically heard in discussions about great Vietnamese restaurants, it certainly deserves to be, as this little-known dining spot rivals the best that Boston has to offer.
Pho Yuen Dong has perhaps the nicest atmosphere of all the Vietnamese restaurants that are south of Boston. Located in a shopping center south of Quincy Center that has several other Asian restaurants and a market, Pho Yuen Dong has a simple layout, with an open dining room filled with tables that have lots of elbow room. And unlike many Vietnamese restaurants in the area, there are no mirrors on the walls (yes, mirrors can make a restaurant appear bigger, but they are also a bit tacky and not very attractive).
There are few surprises on the menu at Pho Yuen Dong, but the food is a notch above many other Vietnamese restaurants around Boston. From the shrimp and pork spring rolls wrapped in soft rice paper to the pho with chicken (with either white or yellow noodles) to the vermicelli with grilled sliced beef, it is tough to go wrong with whatever you order here. Other dishes that stand out include the Vietnamese pancakes and the pad Thai...yes, the pad Thai. But don't think of this as that tasty yet sometimes generic dish that people get in Thai restaurants. The pad Thai at Pho Yuen Dong is a spicy, stir-fried dish with less peanut sauce and more chili peppers in it than what you might be used to.
Pho Yuen Dong is a bit out of the way, and it faces sideways in President Plaza, so it is very easy to miss. But my guess is, this outstanding Vietnamese restaurant will be discovered by more and more diners as time goes on, as it surely is too good a restaurant to remain a secret for very much longer.
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