Every time I write about pho, someone mentions Souper Bowl in Westfield to me. Obviously, I needed to try it so I got my friend Suzanne to go check it out with me since she lives on the north side and is always up for a food adventure. We always order too much food, and this day was no exception.
We started with the fried tofu and the avocado rolls ($3.25). I had never seen an avocado roll on a menu (at least that I can remember) so I was intrigued. It was a cold Vietnamese-style spring roll filled with mainly rice noodles and some crunchy herbs as well as a couple of slices of avocado. It was just okay, not my favorite thing just because it didn’t have a lot of inherent flavor and the thick peanut sauce served with it was a little too much. They were too plain on their own, but all you could taste was the peanut sauce if you did use it.
I think we both liked the fried tofu much better—they were very simple and just the right size (and really, really hot). There was the right amount of tofu to fried exterior ratio. Plus we almost always order this dish when we’re together eating at a restaurant that offers it. It’s kind of a tradition. The one thing I didn’t like about it was they served it with just a standard sweet and sour (read: sweet) sauce, which isn’t my favorite. Usually when I’ve had it, it’s served with a light fish broth, which I prefer. I just used a dash of soy instead. But the tofu itself was tasty.
I order the sliced beef pho ($7.65) and Suzanne ordered the Banh Mi ($3.95). The pho was very good. I liked that the smaller portion wasn’t as overwhelming in amount as it sometimes is—I can never finish those huge bowls. Pho is really about the broth and this one was nice and rich and beefy. There was a fair amount of the very thin sliced beef and lots of the rice noodles. There was a fair amount of really thinly sliced onions in there as well and a smattering of green onions. The side plate was simpler than some-mostly bean sprouts with some Thai basil, a couple of slices of jalapeno and a lime wedge. There was not a lot of the basil and no cilantro, which is also good with it. I threw all of it in (well, not all the bean sprouts) and slurped away.
Suzanne and I shared both so I also got to sample the Banh Mi. It was also well done, although the bread didn’t have that super flaky texture of others I have had in the past. There was a thin layer of the pate-type spread and some thinly sliced pork. The sandwich was dressed with lots of fresh bean sprouts, sliced cucumber, julienned carrots and a bit of cilantro that were light dressed in a slightly tangy dressing. It was a tasty sandwich (and extremely reasonably priced). I would have liked maybe just a bit more meat on it, but for that price, you can’t really complain. Overall I liked the pho better but Suzanne liked the sandwich better, so there you go.
I also ordered a limeade club soda ($2) that was fantastic. They make fresh (and tart) limeade and then mix it with soda. What a great accompaniment to this type of food. And you know me, add some tart, tangy drink on the side and I’ll be happy.
If this place was in my neighborhood (and hey, it’s Vietnamese in Westfield!), I would easily visit again. The menu is large and there’s a lot to try.
112 East Main Street
Westfield, IN 46074