Pho Grand Vietnamese in St. Louis

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Growing up in Midwestern Illinois, my family’s idea of Asian food was La Choy out of a can with Uncle Ben’s rice. As a teen, my tastes adapted to Chinese takeout and food court cuisine. Even after I began dating my eventual wife, a native of the Philippines, I still did not know real Asian cuisine.

Shortly after settling in St. Louis, we began frequenting the local restaurants. I can’t remember the first time we ate at Pho Grand, but I remember my life changing for the better with my first experience of Vietnamese cuisine.

We recently dined at the south St. Louis landmark for the fourth time. The food, service and ambiance are as mind-blowingly good now as they were on our first visit.

Pho Grand has a very extensive menu

Pho Grand has a very extensive menu

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Fried Tofu with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Fried Tofu with Peanut Dipping Sauce

These Crispy Chicken Wings were sticky, pungent and delicious with the flavors of fish sauce and garlic.

These Crispy Chicken Wings were sticky, pungent and delicious with the flavors of fish sauce and garlic.

Lettuce Wraps with tender pork

Lettuce Wraps with tender pork

The Cari Hao, or Scallops with Curry and Coconut Milk

The Cari Hao, or Scallops with Curry and Coconut Milk

Com Tam Bi Suon Cha, or Crushed Rice with Pork Chop and Eggcake

Com Tam Bi Suon Cha, or Crushed Rice with Pork Chop and Eggcake

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I cannot wait for my next visit to Pho Grand Vietnamese Restaurant

Pho Grand is located at 3195 South Grand Boulevard in St. Louis. They are open Sunday and Monday from 11:00 to 9:30; closed on Tuesday; open Wednesday and Thursday 11:00 to 9:30; and open Friday and Saturday 11:00 to 10:30.

http://www.phogrand.com/

The Precinct Sports Bar & Grill in St. Louis, MO

The Cuban Sandwich at The Precinct

The Cuban Sandwich at The Precinct

 

Former Major League Baseball star Jim Edmonds’ eatery, 15, was the latest restaurant in St. Louis to transform from a fine dining establishment into a more casual, family-friendly dining establishment. With a focus on sports, brews and barbecue, The Precinct is geared to attract the pregame crowd looking for a quick, affordable lunch or dinner before attending a Cardinals’ baseball game.

We actually went to the restaurant after the lunch rush, just prior to first pitch on Memorial Day. There were only about 10 other people in the building, including staff, and it was very quiet. The service was very relaxed, perhaps a bit too much. It was as if our server extended herself during the pregame rush and had mentally clocked out for the day. When I inquired what other drinks were on offer other that the Pepsi we had ordered for our sons, she began rattling off; Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist,… Not much of an up-selling job, me thinks.

The food was decent, but not necessarily memorable. The menu is filled with typical bar food; burgers, wings, nachos, other fried foods and appetizers, but the focus is on the barbecue. I ordered the Cuban sandwich, which was made with the slow-smoked, pulled pork. The sandwich was good overall, but I did not like the fact that it included Pesto. Italian Pesto on a Cuban? What? The Pulled Pork Sandwich was good, as were the French Fries. The Baked Beans were rather plain.

Overall, I left with mixed feelings about The Precinct. I enjoyed the ambiance with all of the baseball-related memorabilia on the walls, especially that commemorating Mr. Edmonds’ years with the Cardinals. I was certainly not overly impressed with the food or service. I would recommend to someone curious about the new place; “Go check out the goods, have a beer, and maybe a sandwich or appetizer, then hop on the shuttle down to Busch Stadium and enjoy a ballgame.

Mai Lee Restaurant in St. Louis

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Mai Lee Vietnamese Restaurant in Brentwood, Missouri

We ate at Mai Lee again last night. Over five visits to this wonderful Vietnamese restaurant in Brentwood, Missouri. I posted a review on Hubpages. I had Curried Eel with steamed rice. Good flavor, but the eel is hard to eat. Bones. Hard to chew. Marissa had Beef Meatball Soup, or Pho Bo Vien. It was delicious. The boys ate pork-fried rice, eggrolls and we all split a steamed pork bun. Marissa and I also drank wonderful Vietnamese coffees, made with extremely strong coffee and condensed milk.

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The Spread at Mai Lee

The service was good, but the young man forgot the boys’ Pepsi. But he put it on the bill. We had him take it off. No problem. Everything else was good. Wonderful spot for a Saturday night gathering of family and friends.

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Pho Bo Vien, or Beef Meatball Soup

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Curried Eel Stir-Fry. Sloshed Around a Bit.