Pho Nouveau

A move to larger quarters brings Pho Grand nigh unto perfection

Vietnamese iced coffee, for the uninitiated, is 3 or 4 ounces of very strong French roast, drip-brewed from a custom miniature basket into a juice glass containing just about an equal amount of sweetened condensed milk, then blended and combined with ice cubes. The result is like a rich coffee milkshake, and it's just as ideal for sipping on a tropical St. Louis afternoon as it is in its birthplace in Southeast Asia.

Vietnamese music, traditional and pop, played in the background, but just as melodic to my Western ears were the often intense conversations among the staff in their native tongue.

On your way out, you're saluted by pictures of St. Louis glitterati major and minor, including several TV folks, hometown Excellent Adventurer Alex Winter and, most important, the local dean of restaurants, Vince Bommarito -- an irony in a 10-buck-meal place, but a fitting one. It just proves that who goes there must be a friend at Pho.

Mike and Tami Trinh of Pho Grand, home to nearly 100 alluring, reasonably priced menu choices
Jennifer Silverberg
Mike and Tami Trinh of Pho Grand, home to nearly 100 alluring, reasonably priced menu choices

PHO GRAND, 3195 South Grand (South City), 314-664-7435. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun., Mon., Wed. & Thu.; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Entrees: $3.95-$10.

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