Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pho, rice plates, calamari & fresh rolls at Pho 88 in Lowell

Pho 88 in Drumhill is a bit more upscale than your average "Run of the mill" Vietnamese restaurants in town.  It's situated in a strip plaza on Westford Street on the Chelmsford border, a stone's throw away.  Parking is a bit tough because it shares the same lot with an Indian restaurant, Priya, a salon, a pizza place and a few other small businesses.

Pho 88 1270 Westford St. Lowell, MA

Since they are open until 10 PM, 7 days a week, we got there around 8:30 PM on a Thursday night. The restaurant was pretty "happening" and the booths and tables were filled with young couples and families.  The clientele is both Asian and Western folks.

There is a cozy romantic ambiance in the restaurant with dim lighting and wall sconces suitable for an inexpensive date night.  There's also booths that has tables with cook-tops for interactive group dining similar to shabu, sukiyaki or hot pot.

The cool thing about this place is they have a nice bar area and serve delicious cocktails.  A group of 4-6 girls can share the specialty massive drinks, starting at $29.99.  There's the popular Scorpion bowl, margarita or specialty margarita.  The Mo opted for a Singha but you can see the group of girls in the background sharing one.

We started off dinner with our usual fresh goi cuon, Vietnamese fresh roll.  The peanut sauce was great but the roll itself was premade and sub par.

Pho 88 Goi Cuon $ 3.95

The "Muc Rang Muoi" fried calamari wasn't as crispy as preferred.  It was more on the soggy side and the pieces were inconsistent. Some pieces were ginormous and some were small with extra batter.

Pho 88 #56 Muc Rang Muoi Fried Calamari $ 13.95

For my entree, I went with the #21 Vietnamese noodle soup which is a small size bowl with rare steak and brisket. I wished they had a combination that included meatballs with the above 2 meat options.  I added the meatballs for an additional $ 1.75. The noodle soup was very good but a bit on the pricey side.

Pho 88 Small #21 Tai Gau (Rare steak, brisket Add meatballs) $ 9.70

The Mo got his typical Vietnamese rice plate with beef.  It is served with the sweet Vietnamese fish sauce along with lettuce and tomato.  He enjoyed his meal and ate the rest of mine.

Pho 88 Vietnamese "Com Dia" Rice Plate # 29 with beef $ 8.50

The meal was definitely pricier than us going to Viet-Thai or Pho Da Lat, but it's nice to change it up once in a while.  Service was great; our waitress checked on us periodically to make sure everything was great.

Our total came out to $42.91 including tax (tip not included)

Here are a few other pics from other visits.

Crispy Phad Thai

Green Curry 

Mai Tai Cocktail


Shrimp with mayo

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 Vietnamese Lunch buffet
Vietnamese Lunch Buffet at Viet Thai

 Pho Da Lat
Calamari and Vietnamese Sour soup at Pho Da Lat