I’m usually the first one to admit that I’m not an expert food critic by any means. When I started my “Things to Do Near Norristown” website I had decided that if was do food reviews, I’d probably stick with only places that really had something a little extra to offer.
I was asked on a date not too long ago and we went to a great little Vietnamese place in East Norriton. East Norriton as you may know borders Norristown Borough and is also super close to Blue Bell, Collegeville, Plymouth Meeting to name a couple of places. My date had suggested this place and since I was starving both for food and, sadly, some attention staring over a pair of chopsticks, I gladly accepted.
We went to a place called Pho Thai Nam. I had driven by this place before. It is tucked away in a strip mall set back about 100 yards from Germantown Pike. I really thought this place would be just another tiny, austere, linoleum-looking Asian take out place where you were handed a bag of food lined with bags of mustard, soy sauce and fortune cookies. Boy was I wrong. Really wrong.
When we walked into Pho Thai Nam I found it spacious and adequately decorated in what I presume is Vietnamese or Thai style. The decor was tackful (not tacky) and pleasant.
We were immediately seated. Initially, I thought I could fool my date into thinking I was a culinary expert (which I am when I dine at Lou’s Zeps in Norristown by the way, or Kentucky Fried Chicken) but I soon realized she had me completely out-classed and I gladly surrendered the menu over to her. She perused the menu and immediately knew what she wanted and with complete faith I decided to select the same thing.
We both got the Pho Ga Chicken Pho soup with crispy sprouts on the side. It is basically a large bowl of beef noodle soup topped with tender chicken breast. When it was delivered there was a huge pile of crispy bean spouts, jalapenos, basil and limes on the side. You basically add as much of this pile of sides as you want to the broth of your soup. There is also a zesty brown-black sauce and a hot orange-red sauce (did they actually call it ‘poison’) on the side too to add for taste.
So how was Pho Thai Nam you wonder? It was AWESOME. It was truly great and, believe it or not, it was filling. I can eat with some of the best championship eaters in the country and this bowl of Pho Ga Chicken soup had me full. Even better yet, each bowl, which keep in mind is a meal in itself, was only $8.95 . Even better yet, she (my date) paid for the dinner. I needed the pampering so I gladly accepted
I finished the meal with Vietnamese style coffee. If you like coffee, I highly recommend it. Highly, highly recommend it. Basically you get a thick, dark, super strong coffee poured over a separate and very visible layer of condensed milk. There is also hot water provided on the side. There is a reservoir on top of the coffee cup where you can add water that will filter down and ’cut’ the strength of the coffee to your taste. It kind of works like an espresso pitcher if you have ever used one. (Here’s an espresso pitcher lesson but it isn’t exactly what you’ll see at this Thailand / Vietnam establishment)
Overall, the restaurant was much bigger than it looked from the outside. It was quite spacious feeling, yet fairly intimate.
The staff was extremely friendly, quick to serve, and helpful.
The price was extremely right. Very inexpensive. Great first (or second) date place if that someone special enjoys cuisine from Thailand and Vietnam. Nice place to take someone yet it lacks pretention and is quite comfortable. By the way, this would be a great place to eat alone in as well. Seriously, I am serious. Get that table for one, which reminds me…….
OK, I’m sure some of you, like the more gossipy types, are wondering how the date went. It went great at first then spiralled into total disaster. I’m not kidding. I’m a real good guy but I just couldn’t do anything right around this woman. She seemed really great too. A wonderful person. I couldn’t figure out if it was because I enjoyed eating my Pho Ga Chicken Pho soup with my feet or if I just acted rude at some point.
It didn’t help either that she also had an almost Gandhi-like passion against television violence. In an act of clearly misguided judgement, I sent her a short movie about a date that ends with a terrible car accident. (look up ‘Spider on You Tube with Nash Edgerton’, I won’t link it since this is not an R rated site… which this vid definitely is R rated (adult theme, violence) That too might have contributed to my epic date-fail
Here’s a less graphic video that is part of one of my Things to Do Near Norristown articles. I’m glad I didn’t send this to her either, though the battle is clearly a reenactment. It is embedded in a post I wrote reviewing the annual reenactment of the Battle of Germantown
So Wait! Aren’t You Getting Ahead of Yourself? Where The Heck is Pho Thai Nam??!!
Oh! Sorry, geez. Ok, if you live in East Norriton or close by, jump on Germantown Pike as if you are heading toward the Bowling alley or the LA Fitness. Don’t go into the LA Fitness parking lot though or you’ll have to walk a few hundred yards and cross traffic barrelling down Germantown Pike. Instead, pull into the shopping center across the street that is somewhat adjacent to the funeral home and behind the old Friendly’s. Pho Thai Nam restaurant is on the western end of this strip mall (facing the strip mall it is almost on the left most side). If you were sitting across the street at Panera, you could probably see it if you were using a Hubble telescope for your contact lenses.
If that makes no sense to you then just find Pho Thai Nam below. It really is good Thai Vietnamese food in East Norriton that, of course, is near Norristown.
Thanks for visitng this post. Please check out some of my other articles on this site. I am constantly adding new material so hopefully you will keep checking back. I hope to give you some cool ideas on fun stuff to do in the area. Here’s a couple other suggestions….
If you want to walk off the meal at Pho Thai Nam, I’ve got just the place up the road. Visit the Norristown Farm park. You won’t even need your trail boots as most of the trails are paved. Click here about visiting Norristown’s Farm Park
If you want to try another cool small downtown in the area, check out my Chestnut Hill post on the Harry Potter Festival. It might not be festival time but Chestnut Hill is a nice area to visit when you are looking for something to do.