Pandemic Takeout 43: Pho Everest (Lakeville, MN)


We’ve been trying very hard through the pandemic, even in the winter, to get in a long family walk every weekend before picking up takeout. We’ve managed it most weeks, though sometimes a bit farcically. Two weeks ago, for example, we arrived at a park in Richfield to find the walking trails entirely covered in sheet ice—we ended up walking a couple of miles on very unattractive sidewalk through the adjoining neighbouhood instead. Some weekends, however, we succumb to laziness. And so even though this past weekend was warm by January in Minnesota standards the family ended up vegging indoors while I drove a scant 20 minutes to Lakeville to pick up Vietnamese food from Pho Everest in the Crossroads strip mall at the corner of Dodd and Cedar Avenue.

I’ve reported a couple of times on Pho Everest in the past (here and here). As on those occasions I am not going to tell you now that they’re the best Vietnamese option in the Cedar Avenue corridor around 35E. We generally prefer the pho at Pho Valley, the bun bo hue at Simplee Pho, and he banh mi, and well, everything else at Saigon Deli. But that’s not to say that their food is not good per se. Indeed, the pho broth this time was probably the best we’ve yet had from them. The egg rolls and spring rolls were quite good too, even if their dipping sauce continues to be heavier on sweetness than fish sauce. The broken rice plates—we got the grilled pork plate and the combo plate which comes with three forms of pork— were more than acceptable as well. And if the banh mi was still too light on paté despite my asking for extra when I ordered it—and also very light on heat—it was still a superior sandwich compared to the non-Vietnamese competition (sorry, but even a competent banh mi is better than very good versions of most other sandwiches). The one blah dish was the hu tieu whose broth was almost entirely bland; theirs is made with chicken and shrimp but neither flavour was very much in evidence. On the other hand, a dessert we got for the first time—tofu with ginger syrup and coconut milk—was quite nice if you like tofu.

All in all, not bad at all for a day when you don’t feel like driving more than 20 minutes—or far less if you live in Lakeville. They are not open for dining-in, by the way. They seemed to be getting a steady stream of Doordash and Grubhub orders while I was there—I do wish more people would pick up the phone and call restaurants directly and go pick up food themselves. It’s quite well-documented at this point that the delivery services are not good for small restaurants, especially during the pandemic.

For a look at the menu and the food, launch the slideshow below. The menu at the restaurant has more on it, by the way, than the menu on the online ordering page that opens from their website. So you might want to go by these menu pics if you do order from them.

Up next on the pandemic takeout front: either Ethiopian or barbecue from St. Paul. Let’s see how this weekend goes. I do know the projected temperatures are far too low for a family walk but that’s no reason to not get some good food. We can walk it off next week.

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