I went to Pho Thanh Hoai I with Johnny last night and we had a great experience. It was Saturday night at around 10:00 PM and we hiked to Chinatown from One World Observatory. I checked out the new vegan place at the end of Mott near the 5 corners and it was already closed. Wo Hops in the basement at 17 Mott had a line going out to the sidewalk – probably more than an hour wait to get in. I’ve eaten at Wo Hops over 500 times but we didn’t have time to hang… next stop was Vietnamese !!
We walked from Mott to Mulberry and landed up at Pho Thanh Hoai I. Lights were flashing “OPEN” which was good luck and there were about 20 customers in there although 80% of the tables were available. The place looked totally different. Yeah – new management 2 years ago and a rebuild of the interior which looked great. A combination of Hoi An style with the clay rooftop look and the Chinese style fish tanks in the middle. Classic Vietnamese desert refrigerator near the cashier / takeout station.
This restaurant for decades has had an excellent reputation for the quality of the food and the new management continued that tradition plus added a huge vegan / vegetarian menu to their already robust regular Vietnamese menu. I was totally stoked. We split vegan summer rolls made with fried tofu which were possibly the best I ever had in my life. I ate a vegan beef type Viet entree where the beef was substituted by seitan and it was very good. Johnny had a Pho Thai which was excellent and a bubble tea. I also had a home made tea / lemonade Viet style which was outstanding.
One more thing that was really cool… I’ve been to Vietnam 10 times and this reminded me of being in Vietnam a lot. It was about 85 degrees in Manhattan at 10:00 PM that night as it’s the first week of August. I absolutely love the warm weather in New York and we only really have 8 weeks of it all year. But about 20 Vietnamese ladies took advantage of it on this Saturday night and they were playing cards next to the restaurant just hanging out having tea and soda and chatting it up. They had kitchen chairs and small Viet style sidewalk stools and low tables plus some make shift tables made with milk crates or boxes. Next best thing to being there.
This restaurant is highly recommended.
73 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 233-8988
No website at the time of this article. Here are some iPhone 5S pics.