Pho, the delicious beef (and sometimes chicken) noodle soup from Vietnam is certainly one of my lunchtime favorites. Usually served in large portions, I almost always feel like I’m getting my money’s worth of delicious meat, perfect noodles and savory soup. Vancouver, Washington has several Pho establishments, the majority of which are on the Mill Plain/164th Street area. However, Pho Green Papaya stands out as one of the regions nicer Pho restaurants, located in Michaels/Fusion Bubble Tea/Dick’s Sporting Goods strip mall, off of Mill Plain Blvd.
Upon entering Pho Green Papaya visitors will notice the fantastic 3D mural on the left wall. It’s an interesting art piece, carved out of (what appears to be) hardened foam, then painted to add a wood look. The mural/sculpture depicts life in Vietnam and is very fitting for this restaurant.
Service is typically quick and polite. I have only had to wait for a table to sit at once, and it was only for 5 minutes. Pho Green Papaya is a pretty popular little place, especially on weekdays at noon, when the business crowd comes in. Still, the staff seems to always be able to keep seats open, which is great if you need a quick bite before going back to work. Once an order is placed, you usually receive your food within 15 minutes. There has been a couple of times when it was a little slower, but this is usually not the case. I’m not an expect at preparing Pho, or knowing what goes on in the kitchen, but I assume most places have a giant pot of the Pho soup boiling somwhere, and they simply ladle a little out for each order, adding in the necessary specifics (meat, noodles, etc).
Pho Green Papay’s menu is fairly typical of most Vietnamese cuisine establishments. They offer at least 5 different kinds of Pho, with the usualy “Special” with basically everything in it (beef flank, tripe, eye round steak, etc). They also offer a chicken Pho, which is pretty tasty if you do not want a beef dish. Finally, if you are not in the mood for some delicious Pho, Green Papaya has many other items on the menu, including delicious grilled chicken with noodle dishes. I’m not sure of the exact name of these items, but they are quite good-ask your waiter about them.
The prices at Php Green Papaya are comparable to most area Pho restaurants. Not anywhere as cheap as Los Angeles establishments, most Pho places in Vancouver/Portland charge $8 per bowl of Pho. Pho Green Papaya is no exception, and while there are a few places in town with cheaper Pho, Green Papaya’s is still a decent deal for the price.
I’ve had very positive experiences with Pho Green Papaya. If you are in the east Mill Plain region, and are looking for a great lunch (or even dinner!) location, try out Pho Green Papaya!
Pho Green Papaya
13215 SE Mill Plain Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98684