Pho Challenge #3. Asian Palace Pho 99

So you must be thinking, “It’s about freakin time!”

Or, you may feel more like, “Huh? Challenge what?”

Back in 2013, I gave myself the task to try out all the reputable pho spots in town to seek out the best of the best. It’s an understatement to say that I’ve been slacking on my mission.


So, here we go!


These were flavorful and crisp, and the sauce they serve was heavy with fish sauce, which I love. Delicious!


None of the sides were old or stale, and they give you a lot more jalapenos than other places. I was incredibly happy with that, and you could tell how fresh they were because they were very potent! I loved it!


Before adding any of the fixings to my bowl, I always taste the broth first. It’s noticeably sweeter here than average, which I’m not a fan of. However, after adding all the jalapenos, basil leaves, and sprouts, it’s not as obvious. The quality of ingredients were good but the portions scarce. Sadly there was only one piece of tendon and just a few of tripe. The beef was good, and it’s great they actually serve rare pieces, but they were all pretty lean, no fatty bits and such. Healthier? Yes? More tasty? Nope.

Pho 99 is a good spot for pho but it does not rank as the best for me. Some fantastic pros here ┬ábut not without some disappointing cons. I know it’s a popular spot, and many locals prefer their noodles here to anywhere else. It just goes to show how different everyone’s tastes are. The atmosphere is spacious and casual and the service was good. Prices are about the same as the other pho spots in town.

Three down, two more places to go!

The Beginning Of My Self Imposed Pho Challenge. Who Has the Best In Town?

My friend's mom's delicious homemade pho.
My friend’s mom’s delicious homemade pho.

I love Vietnamese food, and that includes pho. While Grand Rapids may not provide the widest range of cultural fare, we are lucky to have several restaurants that provide delicious Vietnamese cuisine.

So who has the best in town? I have had some bad pho in the past, before I started this blog, so there won’t be any entries for those within the challenge. I can’t bring myself to spend money or my appetite on them again.

Restaurants In Grand Rapids With Not So Great Pho

  • Indochine. Very friendly service, but not so good food
  • Bamboo. Good dishes but the pho wasn’t as good as others I’ve had
  • Fusion Dish. Fun menu! Boring pho
  • Bangkok Taste Cuisine

Restaurants In Grand Rapids Included In My Pho Challenge

  • Golden 28
  • Pho Soc Trang
  • Asian Palace Pho 99
  • Pho Anh Trang
  • Lai Thai Kitchen

Am I missing a place? Please let me know!