I have a coworker whose wife is Vietnamese, and on his recommendation we went to “What the Pho?”, which has, in his estimation, the best crispy noodles in town. He later mentioned that his wife likes Pho Mimi. I asked him what she saw in Pho Mimi.
He replied, “Because she can get what she likes there.”
Pho Mimi has been reviewed by Chow Down Atlanta, who distinctly preferred What the Pho?. In the discussions I’ve read however, some of the people arguing for Pho Mimi mentioned that it was more than just a pho restaurant, that it served other dishes too and it served them well. And as my wife was very interested in having me take a peek at Super H Mart, we decided to make a run down Pleasant Hill to Pho Mimi and Super H Mart.
Pho Mimi is in the Park Village complex on Pleasant Hill Road, a two story C shaped collection of stores and offices in which Super H Mart is also found. It’s on the right hand side as you enter the complex from Pleasant Hill, almost at the right corner of the C. And of course the day I went with my family it was packed. The one bit of seating we had was in the corner, next to a chair containing a jacket and shoes.
It was quite opposite the experience at other pho places, which by comparison had a comfortably large collection of waiters. You could tell in the eyes of the waiter that seated us that they had all they could handle that day and more. There were perhaps two or three waiters for the whole restaurant, and they had one table with close to 20 people, and multiple tables seating more than 4. Other than myself, there was one other person in the restaurant that didn’t appear to be partly Asian.
Pho Mimi, it has to be said, is open and roomy. You don’t feel as if you’re sharing your table with your neighbor. The menu is extensive and they have pictures of the food choices, which helps. They had some egg noodle dishes and some rice noodle dishes I hadn’t seen in a while, since the pho place just to the east of I-85 and Indian Trail closed. Certainly that made me happy. My wife tried the pho with chicken and my daughter found a pho with some seafood, I think. We ordered spring rolls as well, ones with tofu and veggies. Our waiter was young, sharp, and offered good advice as we sort of rummaged around the menu.
It took a while to get our food and it came out in a funny order, probably as a result of feeding the crowd they had. The rolls were good. They had mint, which my wife doesn’t like, but my wife ate them anyway. I liked my dish, a rice noodle dish with seafood and quail eggs and what looked like most of an ox tail in the bowl. My wife wasn’t too fond of the chicken pho, because the flavor of the chicken was not what she expected. When my daughter and I tried it, it had a dark meat flavor to it, almost like duck. That’s not a taste my wife enjoys. She’s more of a white meat person.
My daughter emptied her bowl.
We asked the waiter if my wife could have been served duck and he just laughed and said, “We don’t have duck here.”
In general I thought the service was very good, considering the issues they had.
In conclusion? I wouldn’t recommend Pho Mimi as a beginner’s first pho restaurant. It is, however, a great place to explore food. For that reason I do recommend this place, for those with a willingness to try and experience something a bit different.