Wednesday, June 4, 2014

New Phubs Bringing Bahn Mi And Vietnamese Near Arundel Mills; We're Taking Over The Next County

Sandwiches at Phubs in Hanover
HowChow -- and the new Phubs restaurant -- are going to take over Anne Arundel, or at least the close sections.

Reader THC talked up the new Vietnamese restaurant in Hanover just of Rte 100 east of the BW Parkway.  It apparently Phubs opened recently, and she and her sidekicks, the Hubs and Stormageddon, found a casual spot focused on subs and soups with a Vietnamese style.

This isn't my normal stomping ground, but THC provided a full report -- and I know many people slide over towards Arundel Mills for work for fun.  Cafe Au Lait in Ellicott City sells the bahn mi sandwiches, but a good bahn mi is worth a serious drove.  Here is TMC's report:
A few weeks back when the Hubs and I saw the coming soon sign for Phubs we were stoked about a pho place being so close to our house.  We vowed to return immediately upon them opening. 
There is very comfortable looking outside seating (four tables). The interior of the restaurant has a clean minimalistic vibe.  A bamboo half wall separates the ordering counter from the dining room and the bamboo theme continues on a grand scale on the long wall in the dining room with a gigantic graphic of vibrant green bamboo.  There are a few high counter seats that face the parking lot as well as booths and tables. 
The menu is a good size without being overwhelming for someone unfamiliar with the cuisine.  I was pleased to see that there were plenty of options for vegetarians, vegans, gluten free folk, and of course unapologetic carnivores.
Starting with the pho (soup), 6.99 for a small and 8.99 for a large, you can order one of their beef, chicken, or vegetarian standard options or you can build your own quite easily by chosing your vegetables, your both and your protein, including brisket, tofu, tripe, shrimp, and chicken.  Phubs has a ‘The Works’ style pho called The Phubalicious Pho which includes beef pho broth, braised brisket, eye round, poached egg, charred onion, shitake mushrooms.  There is a pho condiments bar at the end of the counter that includes fresh ingredients like lime wedges, mint, Thai basil, bean sprouts, and sliced jalapenos.  There is also a page taped on the bar offering suggestions on how to dress up your pho with the condiments.  Every table has a large bottle of Sriracha and hoisin. 
Phubs menu also boasts a comprehensive bahn mi (bread) section.  You can order your citrus sesame pork, 5-spice chicken, grilled charred beef, BBQ pork, spicy chicken or vegetable sandwich on a baguette or flat bread.  The sandwiches are topped with cucumbers, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and yum yum sauce. I  have never encountered yum yum sauce in Vietnamese cooking but I suppose it was not a terrible choice as most Americans are used to some sort of sauce on sandwiches and it was mild.  The Hubs got 5 spice chicken in a baguette (6.79) and we ordered the ½ sandwich kid’s meal of citrus sesame pork in flatbread (4.99) for Stormageddon, our toddler. The kid’s meal ½ sandwich was supposed to come with fried rice but it was forgotten on our visit. Although Hubs loved his chicken sandwich he was over the moon for Stormageddon’s citrus pork. 
The noodles+rice section of the menu has the same build-your-own style.  I opted for The Phubalicious Bowl (7.99).  The menu states that it comes with buckwheat soba noodles, BBQ pork, Doctor Linh’s chicken (breaded and moderately spicy), grilled broccoli, toasted garlic, herb salad, pickled vegetables and nuoc mam sauce.  I enjoyed all of the components save for the broccoli which was bitter from grilling and that vermicelli was substituted for soba and I wasn’t made aware of that at the counter.  When I asked the counter attendant about it on our way out he stated that they are still working with the menu and some things take too long or are not cost effective.  I wish I had been told when I ordered.  Next time I will definitely be ordering pho and hope that it is as flavorful as what we got on our first visit. 
All meals can be made a combo (medium drink and spring roll for $2).  We also ordered the summer roll ($3.50/2) to compare with the spring rolls that came with our meals.  The spring roll is pork and shrimp only (no veg) and fried with an egg roll type wrapper.  The summer roll was in a rice paper wrapper with vermicelli, shrimp, sliced pork tenderloin and served with a peanut sauce.  The titles of these two seem to me to be backward, but both were very tasty and so in the end I don’t care what they call them as long as I can get food this tasty and reasonably priced around the corner!
Thanks THC!  I do love guest posts.  It's terrific to hear what other people think, especially when we can talk up places or dishes that I haven't tried yet.  The easiest way is a "Trolling" post -- three paragraphs and a photo.  Check out all the Trolling posts to see the style.

1350 Dorsey Rd, Unit J
Hanover, MD 21076
(443) 354-3550

NEAR:  Phubs is on Rte 176 just off Rte 100.  It's north of Rte 100 and just a little east of BW Parkway.


Anonymous said...

You are spelling the vietnamese sandwich wrong. Its "banh" mi not bahn.

Katie said...

Thanks HowChow! Looking forward to checking it out.

Anonymous said...

"Yum yum" sauce is just (basically) mayonnaise. If you don't like mayo (and many people don't), ask for it to be left off.

Marcia said...

We met some people there for lunch today. I tried the citrus chicken banh mi, my husband had the citrus pork. Both were delicious, great crunchy vegetables and very tasty meat. Another person got a vegetarian noodle bowl that he really enjoyed. We split an order of shrimp summer rolls, they were ok, I have had better but these certainly were fine.

The items on the condiment bar all looked fresh, nothing looked wilted or like it had been there too long.

Service is friendly and fast.

kevlar51 said...

I wasn't terribly impressed. I had the citrus sesame banh mi (steak). Vegetables were nice and crisp, but the steak's texture was odd--almost rubbery, and a too heavy on the marinade (I felt like I was eating soy sauce on a bun).

There's another banh mi/pho spot opening up in the food lion shopping center on 175 in Hanover (same strip as Ledo, Hardees, and Lima Chicken). Looking forward to trying that one out.

Jeffrey said...

I was very pleased with my chicken banh mi and summer rolls today. Chicken was delicious, baguette was fresh, and the combination of fresh herbs and crunchy veggies made the sandwich a huge hit. Can't wait to drag my family here!