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Pho Basil Is a Vietnamese Joy

Restaurant Review

For The Heights

Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013

Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013 02:12

Nestled away in the city of Boston, near the Hynes Convention Center stop along the Green Line, sits a tiny restaurant that serves some superb Vietnamese and Thai. Pho Basil is a popular establishment on Mass Ave. that is able to attain a loyal following of dine-in, take-out and delivery customers. This restaurant not only features great food, but also has a helpful and considerate staff that contributes to making the experience all the more  merry. The best part about this restaurant, though, is its affordability.

The appetizers may come off as a bit pricey, but the entrees are within the typical college student’s budget and the portions that they serve ensure that one will be eating food that is much better than anything at late night in one of Boston College’s dining halls.

    Pho Basil has a small dining area with only enough seating for about three dozen patrons. During the day this is usually not an issue, but come a weekend evening, diners may be waiting longer than they would hope. Many choose the more convenient options of delivery or take-out in order to avoid any potential wait. If patrons choose to dine in, they may also notice that the little space provided for dining will afford them the opportunity to learn more about their fellow diners than is preferable.

    The small size of the restaurant, however, does not detract from the big flavor that is in all of the food. The first entree ordered was the mango chicken curry. This dish is able to incorporate the spicy nature of curry and counterbalance it with the sweet flavor of mango.

The soft rice and crisp of the snow peas add an interesting texture combination that nicely complements the taste of the dish. Served with a variety of vegetables, the mango chicken curry is for those who want a cacophony of the finest characteristic that can be found within food.

    To simplify the mood, one should consider the basil fried rice. While this dish may not be very complex, it is still rather good. This dish’s spicy taste fused well with the usual components of chicken fried rice. The distinctive characteristic of this dish is the basil. The basil’s noticeable presence adds originality that pairs well with this traditional entree. The crunchy veggies only helped this marvelous dish. Those who only like to eat classic Asian foods will enjoy this dish.

    Another Thai original is the pork pad thai. The tender pork has a desirable consistency, almost falling apart as it is eaten. The thick bunches of noodles were stuck together with the assistance of the restaurant’s original sauce, was both sweet and savory. People with peanut allergies beware, for this dish contains ground peanuts that were so fine that they almost appeared to be dust. This intriguing element left a distinct peanut flavor that will leave those enjoying this dish only wanting more.

People who enjoy pad thai will definitely like Pho Basil’s take on this traditional dish.The last entree ordered was the staple Vietnamese dish, beef pho. The noodles were soft and delicious.

A turn-off, however, was the broth. The consistency was fine, but the taste would be too salty for most. The rare beef was able to cook nicely inside the soup bowl. The extra large portion came out in a bowl larger than most babies, so there is plenty to share with another guest. Some added basil will give this dish a boost, but the best accompaniment to the pho would have to be srirachi sauce.

    Overall, Pho Basil is great restaurant if one is in the mood for some Vietnamese or Thai.

The pleasant service, large portions, low prices and, most importantly, stellar food all work well together to make sure that customers will come back in the future and enjoy their Vietnamese cuisine.


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