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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pho Vino

The good restaurants in Spokane may never run out.  Tonight we found another one, Pho Vina, located at 2303 N. Ash Street, in Spokane.

Pho Vina is both take out or dine in and they had all our favorite.  We spent a long time looking at the menu and deciding what to order.  We had Spring Rolls for appetizers, which were different that most Spring Rolls, (Vietnamese style) that we has had before.  We really like the variety in this.  The ones we have had elsewhere have had mostly lettuce and some shrimp.  These had little lettuce and not only shrimp but other meat as well and two different kind of noodles. They were very good.

We ordered Pho (pronouced like "fa") and clarified that we were saying this Vietnamese word right. Geo selected Hot and Sour.  With this we had Garlic Chicken dish and this was served with rice. I like both dishes well, but they didn't seem like very complimentary flavors to have together.  So I ate one and then the other.

The food here was very good and they had all the Asian favorites, including many squid dishes and things made with duck.  While I did not personally opt for squid or duck, this is one place we would definitely love to go to again.  The highlight of our evening however was something they called Bubble Tea.  You can see this pictured in the middle of our table in the cup with the red straw.

When you order Bubble Tea, you can order it with "Jelly" or "Tapioca."  We ordered ours with tapioca, which is the the round things you can see in the bottom of the cup.  This drink is pretty WILD.

What is Bubble Tea?

When I first say it on the menu, I imagined it to be something like an Italian soda,, you know, ice, carbonated water and some fruit flavored syrup or something like that, but it was nothing of the sort.  I probably lead a beveragely sheltered life, but next to a carbonated soft drink sold a few years back here in Spokane called Orbitz, this is the most unusual beverage I have ever had.

It is like a 7-11 "Slurpee" in it's consistency, icy like a smoothie and it comes in lots of  fruity flavors like banana, strawberry, coconut, honeydew and peach.  Some kinda wild flavors too, like green bean, red bean, chocolate and taro. Ours was peach flavored and being it was like an Icee or a Slurpee drink, I think it would be considered :"snow bubble" style bubble tea.

As mentioned, you can order your Bubble tea with jelly or tapioca, and the tapioca "bubbles" I think, are what give this name to this crazy wild drink.  It is nothing like I have ever had before.
First of all you get this crazy over sized straw, that makes you feel like you are in Texas.  Then you use this unusually large straw to slurp up up your tea, and when you do, these round gummy, bubble-like tapioca pearls, one after another... like bubbles, come up your straw and pop into your mouth.  It's rather addictive and kinda fun.  It even makes you laugh.  Bubble tea is a drink that makes you happy, if you like gummy bears and things like that...

I asked our server about jelly in the drink verses the tapioca.  She told me they are square pieces of jelly instead of round tapioca    As I drank the stuff I couldn't help wonder, "What is tapioca anyhow?" And having seen only the small ones used in tapioca pudding I cannot help but wonder how these tapioca got so big.

I think that the new fun crazy wild thing to do in Spokane could very well be to go out with a friend and drink some Bubble Tea.  It really is not a drink, so much as it is an experience. 

 For directions, and to see what others have to say about this restaurant,  check out Urbanspoon by clicking on the link below.
Pho Vina on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I went back with my friend Lori and we had a bubble tea party. She ordered Coconut and I had Banana. It was too fun. Neither of us were brave enough to try the Green Bean, Leechee or Taro flavor ... but maybe next time!

    Thanks Lori!

    Love, Lisa