A new Vietnamese restaurant is a game-changer for Ponchatoula

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Chicken pho
Photo by Jesse Brooks

By Jesse Brooks

Pho Queen, Tangipahoa Parish’s newest Vietnamese restaurant, is a game-changer for Ponchatoula.

For a small city, Ponchatoula has a number of eateries that feature local favorites like po-boys, gumbo, and burgers. Some of Ponchatoula’s restaurants serve breakfast and lunch only and options can be limited in town for night business.

Located on West Pine Street, Pho Queen gives local eaters a new option to explore. Pho Queen’s business has gradually built steam since opening in late spring even though our current era of COVID-19 social distancing has presented a challenge for restaurants. The restaurant’s dining area is vast and tables are widely spread apart. Pho Queen has also found success with an efficient carryout system that required simplifying their initial menu and assigning numbers to each item for an easy ordering process.

wings

 

The menu can easily be broken down into simple categories: appetizers, noodle soups, rice plates, and rice noodle plates.

 

Roasted wings
Photo by Jesse Brooks

 

While the menu is smaller than more established Vietnamese restaurants, every item is of as good of quality as any restaurant on the Westbank of New Orleans. For appetizers, their spring rolls with side peanut sauce are always fresh. The roasted chicken wings with side tangy sauce are simple but yet burst with flavor. Their egg rolls are crispy and light are perfect right before a nice hot bowl of pho.

beef

Spicy beef noodle soup
Photo by Jesse Brooks

Their soups are about as simple as can get but the attention to detail is what can make something that seems so common one of the best things you’ve even. In their lineup, they feature chicken pho, beef, spicy beef noodle, and shrimp ramen. What sets their pho apart from many north of New Orleans is that they aren’t afraid to cook with fat. The soups are a little more greasy than others, but it also seems like that is how they can make something simple taste incredible. The spicy beef noodle is a personal favorite of mine. It tastes similar to a beef stew except with a thinner broth and is served with thicker noodles for a more hearty experience. Extra meats can be added into any soup for a small charge.

deluxe

Deluxe rice plate
Photo by Jesse Brooks

Both the rice plate and rice noodle (vermicelli) plates feature the same options that are grilled meats consisting of chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or combo. There is also a tofu option for those that do not eat meat.

Ordering Vietnamese ice coffee is also highly recommended.

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