Friend or Pho

  • 2.83333 star rating
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2.8 rating over 12 reviews

804-355-4746

2329 W Main St ( )

Richmond, VA 23220

Neighborhoods: The Fan

 
Description: Friend or Pho is a Vietnamese, Vegetarian, and Vegan restaurant where most Menuism users came for fun with friends, paid between $10 and $25, and tipped more than 18%.
Tags: Vietnamese, Vegetarian, Vietnamese cuisine, Delivery, Vegan, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Bar, and Hipster
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  • 7 dishes entered by diners at Friend or Pho
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Friend or Pho

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  • 1.0 star rating
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Friend or Fuh ??? I dont get it.......

Growing up I lived half in Hanoi and half in NYC. My grandmother made Pho from scratch and I would too if it wasn’t so much work.
That said, I have had damn good Pho in Richmond, Pho that was NOT made with powder. Friend or Pho means well, but just doesnt deliver.
If I was rating this on other things beside their food, I would give them a better score, but I just cant…I like beer, but I like to eat good food while drinking my good beer.
I think it is kinda gross that all the five star rating seem to come from people that either work for, own or are friends of the owners…its obvious..ALSO…the name makes no sense…Pho is pronounced “fuh”…..Friend or Fuh???…..kinda insulting.

Dishes I tried:

Beef Pho

  • 1.0 star rating
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Yes it is a noodle soup, but its not Pho….and it is extremely bland.

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Friend or Pho

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Just say NO to Friend or Pho!

The reviews here are CLEARLY written by the establishments friends.

We ate there yesterday. What a waste of a tank of gas & money on food! It was HORRIBLE! I took maximum 10 bites. I tried dressing up my pho with all the condiments available. There was NO saving that pho. It had no flavor even with all the dressings. I was hungry hence the 10 bites! Otherwise, I would have just sent it back. To give you a visual, my bowl looked FULL like I’d never touched it. The waitress had the NERVE to ask me if I wanted a to go bowl. I looked at her like she was crazy and said NO! If I were Vietnamese I’d be insulted! How dare you call this Pho! I hope everyone saves their money on the food. Just go for the beers.

The waitress was ok, and it was not her fault the food was bad. She knew I wasn’t happy with the food, as I’m sure most people are. We gave her a decent tip. But I’m giving you all an even better tip by saying to just find somewhere else to eat. Sticky Rice is across the street!

Dishes I tried:

Vegetarian Pho

  • 1.0 star rating
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I would give it 0 stars, but I can’t! HORRIBLE

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Friend or Pho

3.0
  • 3.0 star rating
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Okay.

I’ve had great pho up in Centreville and Friend or Pho’s is okay. I had ordered delivery since I was feeling under the weather. It arrived sooner than I had expected. The portion was small for the price of $7.95. Even at my usual pho place in Centreville, I get twice the portion for carry-out at the same price. They had placed the noodles and beef in the broth, which was a no-no for me. If I order again, I will need to ask them to place everything separate from the broth. They only gave me one container of the sweet hoisin sauce and it was only a third of the container full.

When I had placed my order over the phone, the person taking my order (Kevin) didn’t even know if they had a minimum on delivery orders. He didn’t even ask my address until the very end to see if I was in the delivery area. I had to give him my phone number because he never asked. Now, I work the phone at a Chinese restaurant in Ashland and the first thing I ask for a delivery order is the address to make sure they are in our delivery area. And from day one I knew the delivery minimum for orders, now I’m wondering why this guy doesn’t?

Overall, Friend or Pho was very average. The best thing about this meal was the cute delivery boy.

Dishes I tried:

Beef Pho

  • 3.0 star rating
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It was okay. It wasn’t the worst thing I have tasted but it’s pretty good when you’re having a sick day. The was too much broth and not enough noodles. I wish they had placed in more noodles.

Fall Roll

  • 2.0 star rating
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It wasn’t disguising but it was very plain and not nearly as crispy as I had expected. The dip sauce they had included (if it was peanut sauce, it wasn’t nearly as good as other sauces I’ve tasted) added some flavor. With this kind of roll though, I was expecting some fish oil sauce with carrots in it.

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Friend or Pho

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not a real Vietnamese restaurant

This place is not a real Vietnamese restaurant. If you are serious about Vietnamese food, don’t go here. If you are just looking for a bar I’m sure this place would be fun. I was just really disappointed by the food and how much it cost.

Dishes I tried:

Vietnamese Noodle Salad

  • 1.0 star rating
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Poor version of a Vermicelli bowl. Did not even fill me up. Terrible dish. I ordered the tofu and mushroom one and the tofu had no flavor and there were no musrooms as far as I could see. We also asked for soy sauce and got a tiny small cup of it, not enough to add flavor to our flavorless dishes.

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Friend or Pho

5.0
  • 5.0 star rating
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Amazing!

Wow, I don;t know what those bad review are talking about. I’ve been to Pho several times and the food it delicious! Don’t be put off by their small menu what they do is great.

I’ve had the beef pho, the rice salad and some of the rolls (the fresh rolls are my favorite).. both wonderful. I went with some vegetarian friends of mine and they tried the Vegetarian pho and raved about it for the rest of the night.

If you want clean flavors and the ability to taste what you are eating try pho. It’s refreshing and delicious.

Dishes I tried:

Vegetarian Pho

  • 5.0 star rating
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loved their tofu

jasmine rice salad with beef

  • 5.0 star rating
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The meat was cooked perfectly.

Beef Pho

  • 5.0 star rating
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It’s only $5 on Saturdays during the day, great idea for lunch and it fills you up. Just ask your server what all the stuff is that comes with it, ours was very nice and help explain what everything was.

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Friend or Pho

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not worth it

- You pay more for less. It wasn’t worth $8. the taste wasn’t bad, I enjoyed the broth but if I’m paying $8 for soup, it shouldn’t be the size of a cereal bowl.

- Everything on the menu was limited. You have a choice between 4 or 5 types of soup. There wasn’t an ‘Everything’ option that every pho restaurant I’ve been to has. The rolls were cold and stiff, the bean sprouts were poking out of the rice paper. They do however give you a generous portion of shrimp, but you can clearly tell that the cook has little experience with this type of food.

- i seriously didn’t feel like tipping, I felt that I didn’t get my money’s worth. Friend or Pho is a rip off. I ordered their soup and summer rolls, which came out to $15 plus tip which was an additional $2 to my server. The maximum amount I usually pay at a PHO restaurant is $12 which includes tip.

Definitely not worth it. Not until they upgrade their menu and lower prices.

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Friend or Pho

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2 Votes
 

I guess they don't know how to pronounce their soup

Most people think Pho is pronounced Foe like “Friend or Foe”, but it’s actually pronounced like Fa.

I did have a taste of their soup and threw it out after three sips

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Friend or Pho

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DO NOT GO HERE FOR FOOD!

  • I went there friday night with my girlfriend. We thought the name was so cute that we just had to try it. Well, the enthusiasm ends there. First off- walking in the place, it seems pretty cool. The whole chalk board ceiling is different and makes the actual restaurant itself interactive but trust me, you’ll get over that aspect quick. We had the choice to sit down at any table since it was so desolate- and on a friday night at that. That should’ve been a sign already but we insisted on going through with dinner there anyway. We picked a table and instantly I was unimpressed. I’m not sure what the owners are trying to go for in terms of ambiance but the empty beer cartons in which they set the condiments in seemed very cheap and tacky. I understand that they have a great beer selection but I would’ve been much better off if they had just set the condiments on the table without using the cartons.
  • As for the actual dinner, we started off with the Winter Roll. We are both pescetarians and don’t eat meat but seafood. That was a disappointment. If I’m going to pay extra for spring rolls with seafood, I would hope it would live up to the price. It was bland and even the sauce that they serve it with was tasteless. We had to use the hoisin and siracha to add some flavor. The vegetarian spring rolls at Pho So 1 near horsepen are first class compared to FoP’s rolls. We both ordered the vegetarian pho since it’s pretty much the only choice we had. That was disgusting. Tasted like hot water with noodles and veggies. I could’ve done without the carrots and mushrooms in my soup. OK- maybe they’re going for a more modern version of the traditional pho… that’s a total failure. We practically used the entire bottle of hoisin at the table just to make it edible. I hadn’t eaten all day so I had no choice in finishing my noodles. I’m thinking that maybe their meat choices are better but if you’re going to appeal to a wider audience, you need to cater to the vegetarians and make sure it’s GOOD! Especially if you’re going to make the meat option & vegetarian option the same price.
  • Overall, this place is a major flop. Going to Pho So 1 is better quality and cheaper at that! But if you want to stay in the Fan then might as well hit up Sticky Rice which is right down the street. My advice, if you’re craving for some Pho, make that extra drive to Pho So 1 and then come back to FoP for drinks. That’s all they’re good for.

Dishes I tried:

Vegetarian Pho

  • 1.0 star rating
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Completely tasteless & it’s the same price as the meat option.

Winter Rolls

  • 1.0 star rating
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Very bland, all the way down to the sauce. Skip this!

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Friend or Pho

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Go try it for yourself....

I went out to Friend or Pho tonight with my friends and had an absolutely WONDERFUL time. I started with dinner, which consisted of summer rolls with peanut sauce and chicken pho. The summer rolls were extremely fresh and in my opinion the best rolls I have had compared to all the pho places I have visited(I have an addiction). The… peanut sauce served with them had an addicting quality all by itself. I literally sat there and dipped everything I could into the peanut sauce in order to consume the portion served along side the summer rolls. As for my chicken pho….. the broth was full of flavor and I really didn’t need to add a thing to make it taste perfect. After dinner, I decided to order dessert to share with my partner in crime for the night. We had these dessert rolls, which consisted of the outside similar to an egg roll but they were filled with bananas, pineapple, and apples. These dessert rolls were served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and decorated wonderfully with chocolate syrup. The meal I had far exceeded any expectations I have ever held for any pho resturant that I walked into. On top of all that, the atmosphere is just fun. Everyone was happy, singing, dancing, and drawing all over the chalkboard ceiling! After leaving tonight I know that Friend or Pho has become one of my new favorite places to go out to and that I will most definitely be a repeat customer! =D

Dishes I tried:

Chicken Pho

  • 5.0 star rating
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The broth is not made from powder, which is what most of the “traditional” pho places end of using. They actually cook their stock from scratch which gives it a wonderful flavor. The chicken was tender and the pho was served with the normal sides.

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Friend or Pho

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Putting the Funk in Pho

The first thing you realize upon entering Friend or Pho, on West Main in the Fan, is the stark contrast to typical pho joints. The attention to atmosphere, design and ambiance is a nice (if not cheeky – chalkboard on the ceiling?) twist on the normally stripped down, efficient and banterless experiences had in the West End. With the exception of Mekong, personality has not been the hallmark of Pho dining. This place has it in spades. The name alone shows their tongue in cheek approach to presenting this traditional Vietnamese dish.

What they do, they do well. The rolls are hot and fried or refreshingly not – depending on your choice of six made-to-order options. The Seoul Fried Chicken is a great alternative to the mainstream wings fascination and satisfies with complex flavors and that sweet/tangy/salty mix that inspires food addictions.

The noodle and rice salads are perfectly portioned and herbed – a great light lunch or dinner that will fill you without inducing naptime. The pho is traditional enough to satisfy the purists but unique enough to strike a different note from the old standard favorites in Richmond.

The beer selection is “Whoa.” I don’t know of another establishment besides Mekong (again) and Cap Ale that so gleefully revels in its beer list. From Founders to Bells and back to pounders of PBR, Friend or Pho boasts more than 40 beer options bottled and on tap.

The jukebox they’ve installed and filled with hep sounds bound to make a music snob dig for quarters (don’t bother, it’s free) is a nice touch but rarely surpasses the effortless cool of the playlisted tunes coordinated by management. All in all, it’s a head-nodding good time I recommend with a smile.

The bar scene is finding itself but is slowly favoring those edged out by other area bars’ tendency toward obnoxiousness. Friend or Pho doesn’t take itself too seriously though doesn’t seem to encourage the bro-tastic adventures of local collarpops and troublemakers. It’s a small spot – perfect for a Fan bar escape pod.

In short, go experience a culinary favorite with the added benefit of a social atmosphere, a friendly (and good-looking, hehe) staff that’s in the neighborhood.

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Friend or Pho

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Friend or Pho

I came to the Friend or Pho on their Grand Opening (Aug. 29th-yeah I’m slow getting to this review, but can’t get this place off my mind)…well being a new restaraunt I went by the waitress’ advise for my dinner selection-I must say She was RIGHT ON THE MONEY! It was a filling and pleasant new surprise to my tastebuds! I can’t wait to eat this again, however I think it will be some time before I can do so, as I intend to try a different dish every time I stop in to the Friend or Pho! This quaint place has me feeling VERY at home….The Staff is so friendly,and the Chalkboard Ceiling is a neat added touch-one that I see customers love as well.Come see for yourself – and You decide!

Dishes I tried:

jasmine rice salad with beef

  • 5.0 star rating
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The dish was promptly brought to me Hot..and the smelling very good. As I fumbled with my flatware I could hardly wait to try a bite!! It was as I expected…Very Good! I am only ashamed that I didn’t take the time to compliment their Cook….So if the Cook reads reviews…Here it is…HATS OFF TO YOU!

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Friend or Pho

5.0
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Friend or Pho-sure to please

Fabulous Vietnamese Cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere that makes you truely feel like a friend. With attention to detail in flavor, texture, plate presentation you’re sure to find the cuisine sensational!

Dishes I tried:

Vietnamese Noodle Salad

  • 5.0 star rating
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This dish was delicious. I enjoyed the way in which the chicken, noodles, sprouts, carrots, cilantro, lettuce, cucumber, spices, and a vinegarette dressing came together to create a flavor that dances across the tongue like none other! Not only did this dish appeal to the taste but was a visual feast with its colors, portion, and presentation.

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