Review: Pho 79 Vietnamese & Asian Cuisine….. Give me more!

Jul 20, 2011 by     2 Comments    Posted under: Boise, Idaho, Restaurants, Reviews

I have been on the hunt for decent Asian food, specifically good Chinese food, ever since I moved to Boise 4 years ago.  At last, I’ve found it!  The family owners of Pho 79 in Boise have my dying affection now.

Upon walking in, nothing visually stands out to you that this is going to be a fantastic dining experience, but your nose definitely tells you otherwise.  I was instantly greeted with the smells of a great Asian kitchen, with all of its aromatic herbs and saucy wok frying goodness.  I took my seat and greedily grabbed the menu.

It was filled with a wonderful assortment of Vietnamese (like Pho, Bun Bo Hue, Tom Kah, and Bun salads), Thai (like Pad Thai, Pineapple Fried Rice, and Curries), and Chinese (like Pork Fried Rice, Mandarin, Kung Poa, Mongolian, Moo Shu, and more), as well as some more authentic rarities like Beef Salad with Galangal.  Everything I got to eat was awesome, and I can’t wait to try everything else on their menu.  Let me tell you what I’ve experienced so far:

Pho 79 Spicy Chicken: Perfect Boise Chinese at Last!

Pho 79 Spicy Chicken Perfect Chinese

Pho 79 Spicy Chicken Perfect Chinese

I asked our server (the owner and chef for the night) what his favorites on the menu were.  His top recommendation was the Spicy Chicken.  Oh man do I now know why.

It was a heaping plate of diced chicken which had been wokked with onions and mushrooms in an incredible brown sauce, which I’m guessing was oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sweet chili sauce, and some other amazing things.  It had a perfect touch of wok char on it, and was mildly spicy.  It took me straight to the Chinese restaurants I had the pleasure of eating at in Malaysia.  Authentic, perfectly prepared, Chinese food at last in Boise!  Hallelujah!   I hummed and closed my eyes through the entire meal, with my leg dancing in delight.

Pho 79 Bun Thit Nuong: Amazing Vietnamese

Pho 79 Bun Thit Nuong Vietnamese Salad

Pho 79 Bun Thit Nuong Vietnamese Salad

My eating companion took my recommendation and ordered some Vietnamese Bun, which she had never tried before.  Oh man!  Was she ever lucky to have her first Bun experience at Pho 79!  It seriously was the best that I’ve ever had anywhere.  The lemongrass pork was absolutely incredible.  Tons of lemongrass flavor, but also an intense spice mixture that was completely out of this world good.  The accompanying Nuoc Cham sauce was great, and the entire thing mixed up with the rice vermicelli noodles, lettuce, and pickled vegetables was total perfection.  Low calorie, healthy, but blow your mind good.  Oh how I love Vietnamese.

Pho 79′s Perfect Pho

Somehow I managed to forget to take a picture of this on my first visit to Pho 79.  But that visit set the stage for the rest of this review.  A large Asian family was dining family style, a toothless Asian man took me to my seat, and a corner TV was playing an Asian talk show.  Perfect.  I ordered the #11, Pho Dac Biet (Beef with meatball).

The broth was terrific!  Lightly sweet, strong star anise coming through, and very beefy.  It came to my table pre-garnished with cilantro, green onions, red onions, and deep fried onions (which I found added a really nice contrasting touch to things).  This was a pleasant touch I haven’t seen at other pho places before, but it still came with the traditional bean sprouts, jalapeno, and Thai basil on the side.  The broth was so good as it was that I almost didn’t add any hoisin, but I couldn’t help myself.  I squeezed a bit in and it made it truly spectacular.  The beef was great, but the meatballs were served sliced and were not really that good.  Next time, I’ll save the dollar and skip the meatballs.  But I’d easily rate this pho a 10 out of 10.  Just simply delicious.

I’m so glad I found Pho 79.  You simply must eat here.  Don’t argue, just go.  So so delicious…

Pho 79 Vietnamese & Asian Cuisine
7310 W State Street
Boise, ID 83714


The Bald Gourmet’s restaurant dining experiences and exceptional food discoveries like Pho 79 in Boise, Idaho are deliciously worth trying yourself.


2 Comments + Add Comment

  • My wife and I have been dining at Pho79 for years. I agree this is the real deal. I’m amazed that there are not more folks inside when we go. Lots of carry out business. Small, family run by super nice people. The owner kids (2 little girls) are usually playing in there. The dishes we really love: Chinese Hot & Sour Soup (we have had this soup all over the country and this is great). Chai-gow (fried spring roll served with lettuce, cilantro, fish sauce) We dip in chili paste and soy mix also for maximum happy. Beef Chowmein that we ordered with a large party and is real good. Beef Salad!!! I don’t know what he puts in there, but its a perfect cool complex dish. I could go on about this place and we have not ordered anything we did not enjoy. Cool local place to bring visitors. Good review Jothan!

  • Oh YEA! So glad to hear this….I was hoping you would get around to reviewing Pho 79, cuz I wonder about it every time I pass it. Going there now.

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