Pho Green Papaya and Sunset Factory Teriyaki & Deli

October 24, 2006

Pho Green Papaya and Sunset Factory Teriyaki & Deli

402 SE M L King Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 231-1431
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Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm

food at pho green papaya
pho at pho green papaya
I was having a bad day, and I needed comfort food. What could be better than pho? And so I ended up at Pho Green Papaya and Sunset Deli.

Now, you might be familiar with them already. Up until recently, they were simply Sunset Deli, a shack-like building on MLK across from Sheridan's, and next to Taco Del Mar. I admit, it seemed a little too divey for even me.

But with a new paint job, Pho Green Payaya looks almost respectable. A covered deck on the side would be nice in warm weather, and it would be removed from the hustle and bustle of the tiny, newly painted interior.

The original Sunset Deli menu (teriyaki, salads, sandwiches) is still in place, and for vietnamese lunch, you've got some limited, not terribly cheap, options. We started with vietnamese iced coffee and their salad rolls, which they call fresh spring roll: filled with bbq pork (xa xiu), shrimp, vermicelli noodles, & mint. The presentation on these was gorgeous, and they really were the highlight of the meal. Though definitely not the best salad roll in town.

Next came our entrees, beef pho and lemongrass chicken. Like I said, the viet menu is short: 3 pho variants (beef, chicken or vegetarian, with no choices for meat), udon (huh?), curry, fried rice, papaya or mango salad, and lemongrass chicken or tofu. The presentation on these were also really lovely. And for a $6 small bowl of pho, it ought to be lovely.

The pho was disappointing. It came with a very small salad plate (though the broth was studded with lots of herbs), and the meat and rice noodles clumped to themselves. By the time the pho got to the table, the meat was an unidentifiable grey mass. And the broth was salty and thin, not rich and robust.

And the lemongrass chicken was also underwhelming. The sauce was tasty with that nice lemongrass citrusyness and slightly spicy, but the chicken itself tasted plain. The green beans were nice and crisp though. It seemed overpriced.

So, beautiful presentation, a little expensive for what it is, and okay but not memorable food.

restaurants in SE Portland

Posted at October 24, 2006 * add entry to del.icio.us

Comments

Those goi cuon do look fantastic. Sorry to hear about the soup.

How much were the rolls?

Posted by: The Guilty Carnivore at October 25, 2006 04:32 PM

Damn. I really wanted the pho to be good, since it's not too far from where I work. Guess I'll stick to my tried and trues...

Posted by: Betsy at October 28, 2006 05:30 AM

GC - I'm sorry, I don't remember. They had one little menu on the counter when you ordered, so I couldn't steal it to take notes!

Betsy - I wanted it to be good too. I mean, it's okay, but compared to Pho Hung, Pho Van, Got Pho, Pho Oregon, Pho Dalat, you name it, it's expensive and underwhelming. I think when I need the hot soup option downtown, I'm going to stick to Hot Pot City.

Posted by: vj at October 28, 2006 11:25 AM

Pho Green Papaya is one of the best places I have eaten in a long time!
I got the coconut curry chicken....it had lots of chicken, fresh green beans and pineapples! The portion was big enough to take some home, but it was so good I ate it ALL!! The thai tea was great too!!
I will definitely go back!

Posted by: sandy at May 15, 2007 03:36 PM

I also thought Pho Green was delicious. The curry is amazing and I think the portions are actually pretty big.

Posted by: EJ at May 22, 2007 10:02 AM

The pho is "expensive and underwhelming"? Did we eat at the same place? At lunch time the pho is $6, at dinner I think it's $7, and in both cases the serving is huge. Some of the best pho I've had in Portland for sure.

Also outstanding: the crispy rolls, the curries, and the "super bun."

Posted by: JD at May 27, 2007 04:58 PM

I, too, wanted that pho to be great on a not-so-great day and it just wasn't. I tend to find my self back at Pho Jasmine on Killingsworth again and again, mostly for the convenience factor. Some days it's better than ever. It's always slightly different. When it's excellent, it is out of this world. It's by PSU so you get a lot of students. It always has people but is never crowded.

Posted by: Ayleen at June 10, 2007 07:56 PM

This food is perfectly delicious. I eat there very regularly and have never been let down.

The pricing is a bargain. I get the green curry to go and it can last through three meals. Outstanding value. No doubt about it.

Even if the service wasn't good, I'd still eat there all the time. The food is the product of veteran award-winning chef, Idontremembertheirname. There was a write up in the Merc.

This place is great. Check it out.

Posted by: Reagan at July 31, 2007 08:41 PM

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