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   PHO SAIGON  IN LAS CRUCES
 
 
 
2011 - Volume 2 Issue 1
¡Comidas Sabrosas!
Cuisines of Vietnam
 
Article: Joe Burgess
Photos: Joe Burgess
 
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Las Cruces finally has its own Vietnamese restaurant that opened in December 2010. The owners, Eric Nguyen and his wife Kelly, are originally from Saigon and came to the United States in 1986. They were joined in Las Cruces by Kelly’s family members from Orange County to help with the restaurant, and they hired an experienced restaurant cook from Phoenix.

    Information

Pho Saigon
1160 El Paseo Rd.
Las Cruces, NM
575-652-4326

Hours:
Mon-Sun 10:00am-9:00pm
“Our family had always dreamed of opening a restaurant,” Eric shared. “Thinking that Albuquerque might be a good location, we drove through the Southwest and realized that Las Cruces was a fairly large community with no Vietnamese restaurant. We met numerous people who like Vietnamese food, but said they usually drove to Albuquerque to get it. We concluded then that Las Cruces was the place to start our venture.” The new Pros Ranch Market will soon attract more people to the shopping area, “but in the meantime,” Eric stated with a big smile, “we are serving delicious food that is fresh and healthy. If you try our food, I know that you will love it.”

Eric says that Vietnamese food typically uses less oil in the preparation than Chinese food and is less spicy than Thai cuisine. Vietnamese cuisine doesn’t use cheese, the vegetables are fresh and there is little or no cholesterol.

The beef noodle soup is probably the most popular single item at the Las Cruces restaurant. A popular dinner is the vermicelli with barbecue pork, shrimp and an egg roll. I can vouch for the stir-fried noodle with shrimp, squid, chicken, fish ball and mixed vegetables – it was delicious. It can be ordered soft or crispy.

The dessert list includes “Three Color,” an interesting concoction that is often listed as a drink. I hesitated at first, because the soda glass obviously contained red beans and green beans. But you have to try it. It includes coconut milk and ice at the top and a layer of green beans. The red beans are in a red gelatin layer and at the bottom is a yellow gelatinous mix. Of course, there are many versions of the dessert/drink, but you will be delighted. You might also test the Avocado Smoothie, but I’m saving that one for my next trip to Pho Saigon.

“People who have retired in Las Cruces from larger cities are more familiar with Vietnamese food,” Eric relates. “Las Cruces was a gamble for us since there are very few Vietnamese people here and we weren’t sure if many residents had experienced the food. The response has been good.” ///
 
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