Written by Ana Canas McPeek
There are so many restaurants out there, but where to eat? If you’re a food lover like me and love to try different cuisine, you might consider this low-key Vietnamese restaurant, Pho TJ, located in Brighton on Bridge Street. Open for more than five years with 4.7 star average on Google reviews, this pho noodle restaurant is a place for workers around the area like me who want to get a quick lunch. You will be guaranteed an experience with good food and awesome service. We all have our reasons why we return to a restaurant, and I have 4 criteria that you won’t want to miss: atmosphere, wait time, service, and food quality.
When you walk in, you will be greeted by someone who will accompany you to your seat. They have red sofas for the booths, the middle is wooden chairs with black glass tables, and picture frames on their medium tone yellow-colored wall of flowers. It feels welcoming and warm inside, but, heads up, it gets too noisy during lunch and dinner. I don’t know what it is, but majority of their customers talk loudly.
People like me, who are always hungry, don’t like to wait in line just to be seated somewhere that has a lot of customers and is always packed during lunch. So far I’ve been seated right away. Last visit, there was a sign on the door that said they were understaffed, but that didn’t stop other customers and I from going in.
You want to go to a restaurant because you don’t have time to cook, you’re hungry, and you want fast and good service. They have excellent service; if you feel like going out for a quick lunch break you should try Pho TJ, you’ll be in and out within 20 minutes. They have good teamwork, you’ll get seated right away with a glass of water and a menu, and they’re ready to take your order. But since I have been their valued customer for a long time, and they already know what three foods I always order, the menu is not necessary.
The food doesn’t take long to arrive, and when you’re done you don’t have to wait for your bill; you can go to the counter and pay. Waiting for your bill where you’re seated is unnecessary, but it depends on when you want to pay. I just find it faster that way.
The food is delicious. My first favorite is the combination pho; it consists of rare steak, brisket, tendon, meatballs, tripe, and of course, the noodles, and costs $7.50. The broth does it all. The meats are very tender, meatballs and noodles are soft enough to chew; add cilantro, lemons and mint leaf with sriracha.
I wish they put a little bit more noodles without the additional charge of $1, because getting a combination pho itself is already another $1, but if you don’t mind paying extra for food, then go for it. Especially with their pho that is to die for; then it is all worth it.
My second favorite, the combination rice plate, costs $11.95. Grilled chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and egg rolls grilled enough that it’s not burned. It’s not too greasy; there’s just enough oil where there won’t be residue on your plate.
The meat is not tough, egg rolls are very crunchy, and of course my holy rice (I call it holy because I can’t live without eating rice once a day.) is cooked just the way I want it. It doesn’t look like porridge, not soggy, not hard, just tender enough to chew that it makes me want more.
Last,but not least, is a special request; the grilled chicken and pork rice plate. Since they don’t have this on their menu, I pay a little bit extra for a price of $13. Basically it’s the combination rice plate, but without the rest of the meat.
Just like everyone else, I am very picky with the places I want to eat at, so if a restaurant gives me a highly-satisfying experience, I’ll keep coming back. That is what Pho TJ provides, and they strive hard to keep their customers happy. I would give Pho TJ five stars and advise you to come and visit if you’re in the Brighton area.
Address: 702 E Bridge St, Brighton, CO 80601
Phone number: (303) 659-2728
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday -Saturday
Cuisine: Vietnamese Noodle House
Price Average: Appetizer $2.95-9.50, Entrée $8.95-$11.95
Grade: 5 stars