The flavors of Vietnam found in a shopping center in suburban Delray Beach

A hot bowl of pho with added Sriracha and Hoisin sauces


Hey Pho You has more than a catchy name. This new eatery offers tasty, full-flavored Vietnamese dishes such as pho, bun and banh xeo.

The recent opening of Hey Pho You in suburban Delray Beach has definitely made dining in this fine-dining desert more interesting.

Located in the Publix shopping center at the northeast corner of Jog and Lake Ida Roads, Hey Pho You offers the distinct and unforgettable food of Vietnam. Interestingly, it’s ownership includes folks of Cuban/Puerto Rican, Thai and Vietnamese origin.

Open since September, Hey Pho You still lacks a permanent sign

Inside Hey Pho You

But make no mistake, the cuisine at this unassuming restaurant with a catchy name — it replaced a forgettable Chinese eatery in September — is solidly Vietnamese and it’s mostly very good.  To be sure, there’s a steady stream of diners and take-out customers at both lunch and dinner.

Many first timers automatically assume that Vietnamese is another spicy Asian cuisine. There’s virtually no heat in these offerings, but there is plenty of flavor. Vietnamese food relies on a balance of salty, sweet, sour and hot flavors, achieved by the use of  such ingredients as a fermented fish sauce known as nuoc nam, sugar, fresh herbs, tamarind juice and chili peppers. Dishes tend not to be overly spicy, as the chilli sauces are served separately. You can ask to tone down the heat, but the dish you receive may seem lacking.

The menu at Hey Pho You is broad with a variety of appetizers, soups, noodle-based dishes and stir-fries. All that’s lacking, sadly, is banh mi, the Vietnamese baguette sandwich. Service is friendly, if not totally professional.

Banh Xeo 

Combination bun

Carmelized chicken

At lunch one time, I slurped happily on some of the best pho (pronounced FUH) that I’ve ever had. Pho, Vietnam’s national dish, consists of a beef or chicken broth flavored with ginger and coriander, to which are added broad, flat rice noodles, spring onions, and sliced meat. It’s presented with bottles of Sriracha hot sauce and hoisin sauce, jalapeño peppers, fresh lime, fresh mint, and bean sprouts. Here the broth is deeply hued and full flavored from long simmering. And the beef, raw, thin sliced, and tender, gets cooked in the bowl at the table. Beware, this large bowl can be quite filling. Other varieties include cooked beef, meatball, chicken, seafood and vegetable, or a combination.

Dinner here, at least at the time of my visit, began with a complimentary basket of addictive shrimp chips.

Chicken and mishrooms

Vietnamese doughnut

Among the appetizers is banh xeo, an enormous crispy fried crepe filled with shrimp, pork, egg and bean sprouts that’s served with leaves of romaine lettuce for wrapping and a sweet and sour dip flavored with nuoc nom. It’s best shared given its size. Want something less filling? Consider goi con, translucent Vietnamese spring rolls.

For a main, I had the combination bun bowl. Bun is one of Vietnam’s most beloved noodle dishes, served sans broth to keep the ingredients from becoming sodden and to keep the various textures intact. Tender slices of beef and chicken and shrimp mingle in a large bowl with crunchy peanuts and bean sprouts, and are flavored with fresh herbs, crisp dried shallots, and a splash of fish sauce and chili pepper. It’s all topped by sliced deep-fried spring rolls, which add to the complexity of textures. Alongside there’s a little bowl of broth that you pour atop it all.  Both filling and delicious, it’s good from top to bottom.

Caramel chicken or shrimp are fine options for those hesitant to try a bit of spice. The protein is stir fried with onions and a deep, sweetish caramel sauce.

Shrimp with mushrooms (tom xao nam) was a bounty of flavors with the addition of onions and herbs.

Another entree, sautéed noodles with chicken, was served on an enormous platter. Alas, it lacked the punch of other dishes (my mother in law, much to my consternation, considered asking for ketchup to kick it up).

Hey Pho You is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, but closed all day Monday. They do take out and delivery too.

If you do dine in, you’ll be served gratis Vietnamese doughnuts, twists of fried dough drizzled with chocolate sauce and powered sugar. Leave room for them. They make for a sweet finish to a delightful meal. If you’re like me. you’ll want to return to try the rest of the menu.

Hey Pho You

13900 S. Jog Rd., Delray Beach, FL 33446-5905



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