Red Pepper Thai-Viet

Posted on 2011-12-27 05:12

434 Bank Street

A fairly new place that has opened in the last year or two. This one features Vietnamese and Thai cuisine in a place that’s outside the core of downtown and away from Chinatown.

Their pho comes in three sizes, small for $6.99, medium for $7.99 and large for $8.99. Spring rolls are two for $3.95 and four for $4.95. Fresh salad rolls are $4.95.

They serve Thai dishes like Tom Yum and Pad Thai and Vietnamese dishes like rice and noodles. Soup in chicken and vegetarian versions are also plentiful. Iced coffee is $3.99.

Spring rolls Bowl of pho Bowl of pho
Dishes at Red Pepper Thai-Viet


Nice spring rolls, bland soup

A special Sunday outing with my wife for this visit to try another place that is way overdue for a review. The place is nicely decorated and was about half full on this weekend dining occasion.

We decided to split an order of four shrimp spring rolls. She had a small bowl of pho with a combination of beef and chicken, and I tried a medium pho with veggies and tofu. My selection was not on the menu as they only listed beef broth with meat, and vegetable broth with vegetables. But they were able to accommodate my request to have beef broth with veggies and tofu.

The spring rolls arrived first and we dug in. They were a little on the small side, but looked great. They each had an entire shrimp inside with the tail sticking out. The tail had its shell on. We both enjoyed the spring rolls a lot. They were very hot and fresh from the fryer. The tail provided an easy handle to pick it up, and the wrapping was very crispy. My fingers got a bit oily from handling the tail, but not too much.

The soup arrived soon after we finished our starter. My soup had lots of veggies, and they were very fresh. It had red and green peppers, broccoli, onions, carrots and zuccini. Pretty much what you'd expect if you asked for a stir-fry. There were strips of firm tofu, but not very many.

Her soup had beef and chicken and she said the meat was tender.

But, and this is a big but, we both did not enjoy the broth. It was bland and tasteless. I detected some MSG, not very much, but it did not save the broth. Even after adding lots of hot sauce it still fell flat.

Accompaniments for the soup were basic. They had sprouts, basil and lime wedges, all fresh, and the usual hot sauce and hoisin sauces were on the table. Notably missing were the saw-tooth herbs and the hot peppers. I would have thought, given the name of the restaurant, they would provide peppers for this dish.

Service was good. There was one waitress but she was able to handle this noon crowd.

Price was a little higher than I expected. The total for an order of 4 spring rolls, a small pho and a medium pho was $22.50, including tax but not including tip.

So, overall, our experience was mixed. The spring rolls were good, the veggies and the meat were good, the broth was dull, service was good. Those of you who have read my comments about other restaurants will know it's all about the broth for me. If that's not good, then the place gets a thumbs down. Sorry.

Rating: 6