Tonight was cold. I’m talking –17°C but feels like -26°C cold. Perfect weather for a hot bowl of Vietnamese Pho. What better place to go than Pagolac in Edmonton’s lovely and totally crime-free Chinatown? Pagolac’s been here since I was a little kid (I used to call it “the place with the funny cow head logo“). It’s often packed and is an Edmonton favorite.
Generally speaking, Edmonton’s Oriental restaurants are rubbish compared to those of Vancouver’s. The depth, breadth, and quality of Edmonton’s Chinese, Japanese, and Korean food is embarrassing when compared to Vancouver’s. Taiwanese? No such thing in Edmonton.
However, Vietnamese restaurants are an exception. Edmonton’s got some great Pho joints. Pagolac is at the top of the list for most Edmontonians, but it’s arguable as there are some other greats. Andree over at ugonnaeatthat.com certainly agrees with me. I’ve yet to find a Vietnamese restaurant in Vancouver that rivals the best in Edmonton. If you know of any good ones, do let us know in the comments.
Enough ranting. Let’s go into Pagolac.
The decor is absolutely horrible. This place has been around since the 80s and it shows! The faux-wood paneling, carpet, tables, and chairs are probably the same ones they had on opening night.
And don’t get me started on their awkward entrance door. That thing violates all sorts of fire regulations.
The interior has been drab for decades, but people still keep coming back? Why? Great Vietnamese food!
I especially like their Pho. Tonight, I got a Large #28: Pho with beef tendon and sliced beef. At $9.95, it’s a lot more expensive than it used to be. Darn. But the great taste is still there.
The broth, which is the most important part of Pho, is savory, smooth, and delicious. The noodles are soft yet chewy. Pagolac doesn’t skimp out either as they put a lot of noodles, meat, and veggies in each bowl. I hate Vietnamese places that skimp on noodles and leave you hungry before the cheque even arrives.
Pagolac’s service has always been good and tonight was no exception. The food arrived a few minutes after we ordered. I look forward to sitting on these same ugly chairs and scarfing down the same great Pho the next time I come back to Edmonton.