This is Marie, contributing an article about Island Pho, a Vietnamese place on St. Simons. The last time we visited the island, before Christmas, I recall seeing the store front, but it was either closed that day or not open yet. However, it was worth the wait to go this time. My mother and I took the toddler to have some lunch together and we had a very good meal.
Island Pho is a very pretty little place, with wood paneling and a lot of natural light through the windows looking over the outside seating area. The booths are sized just right for two people and a wiggly toddler.
It actually took a little while to coax my boy into the place, as he loves fountains and they have a very nice one right outside the door, so he was a tad grumpy on entering. There weren’t many people inside as we’d timed our visit a bit late in the lunch hour due to some other errands we’d been running, which was just as well as he was not quite on his best behavior at the beginning. The server was, however, and he took our order quickly and efficiently without making us feel at all rushed.
My mother and I, knowing the tendency for any Asian place to go big on the portions, decided to share an appetizer and meal between us, and chose the spring rolls and stir fried noodles. The toddler got a vegetable fried rice plate which the server described as “small.” It came with a tiny bowl of miso soup that my boy had mostly transferred to his shirt by the end of the meal. He diligently attempted to consume it but is not really very good with liquids in a spoon yet. He ate his fill of the rice and there was enough for my mother to eat for lunch the next day. The spring rolls were lovely, fresh and flavorful, and although I didn’t ask for the source of the shrimp inside them, they were probably local. The dish also came with an excellent peanut sauce that we kept for the entree. My mother said that she could easily lunch on the spring rolls alone, and I agreed. The stir fried noodles were excellent, well flavored and with a good variety of ingredients. I didn’t get to eat any of the mushrooms, though, as the toddler snatched them all for himself.
We topped off our meal with smoothies, as the most unusual thing on their menu was also the most tempting. They have Durian (my choice), Jack Fruit (to try next time), Avocado, Soursop (my mother’s choice, as she fondly remembered the fruit from our stay in the Caribbean) and a couple of others. There are a number of other drink choices as well, which look interesting enough to warrant exploration. My mother was quite happy with her choice, but I liked mine better even though there were a few ice crystals left in it. The toddler did not appear to be interested in either.
Overall this was a good place well worth revisiting. My mother liked it very much, so she shouldn’t be hard to persuade to exchange this for her usual favorite joint (which Grant has stoically suffered) when she wants to eat out with us.
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