Vegetarians eat tofu, right? Not necessarily. When I decided to be a vegetarian, I did not automatically develop a love for tofu. I had tried it before, but it was never my favorite. It always came down to texture. The way it sat in my mouth usually made me gag, but alternatively, I have had it made well a couple times, and thus, it was not vomit-inducing. Always a perk. I tend to associate tofu with a past relationship in which our homemade dinners when I would go to his place were often comprised of “everything left in the fridge before it goes bad.” I know, it’s hard to imagine someone loving me quite that much, but it’s true. You can dry your sentimental tears later. I mean, who has that much food that is always about to go bad? Really. I digress.
With Nicole only in town a few more days, we needed to take her computer to a shop in Clairemont to see about fixing some bits and pieces. Naturally, we decided to eat while out because that is what we do. Clairemont is known as one of the only places in San Diego where one can get a variety of Asian cuisine. Convoy Street is particularly known for Vietnamese, so we decided to give it a go since we were there, and we typically go for a part of town with a little more to offer entertainment-wise. We ended up at Phở Convoy Noodle House, mostly because it was well-lit. I realized I’d been there once before with that fella mentioned up there and his friends, but we decided to go anyway.
We were seated right away at a booth in the practically empty restaurant. Overall decor and atmosphere lacked, but it was no different than other older restaurants anywhere else. We were handed a menu book by a woman who seemed as though she could not care less if we were there or not, which did not particularly bother me. She was neither boisterous nor rude, and unless the service is horrible, it really just comes down to the food.
I began scanning for vegetarian options. There are enough options for a vegetarian to feel confident in coming here. Some choices include, vegetarian curry; vegetable and tofu phở; Vietnamese fried spring rolls; vegetarian fried spring rolls with pumpkin, carrot, taro, three kinds of cheeses, and tofu; bánh mì with tofu (a Vietnamese sandwich); bánh hỏi with crispy tofu, which consists of plate rice wrappers, lettuce, cucumber, daikon, mint, and vermicelli; crispy tofu rolls; crispy tofu with vermicelli; stir fried vegetables with egg noodles; stir fried vegetables and fried tofu over rice; vegetable and tofu rice or noodle soup; and a variety of fruit smoothies. As you can see, this place also has a lot of options for vegan eaters also.
Psyched by vast possibilities, I settled on the bánh hỏi with crispy tofu, and it was rad. The tofu was entirely palatable, tasty even. This was a new culinary experience for me, so I had to work on the perfection of the wrapping process, which I in no way accomplished, but I got to a good place with them, and I think I could have improved even more had I finished the meal. It was a ton of food, though. I told Nicole, “This could easily be shared.” Her eyes shifted as she muttered, “I think it was supposed to be.” Okay, so I ate more than half, but not more than 2/3. I wish there was more mint and daikon. I ran out of that too soon. The sauce had a sweet and sour flavor, a bit more on the sweet side, which I like, but it may be too sweet for others. On some of my wraps I added Hoisin sauce or Sriracha , but it’s definitely not necessary. I would order this again because it was fun to play with and try in a variety of ways. Perhaps next time, I can find a man willing to make me fresh food to share this with. Ah, a girl can dream.
Phở Convoy Noodle House is located at 4647 Convoy Street in Clairemont. It is open Sunday – Thursday from 10 am – 9 pm and Friday – Saturday from 10 am – 10 pm. Greatest place I’ve ever been? Nah, but my food was good, and to be honest, I am not a connoisseur of Vietnamese restaurants, so I do not have much to which I can compare it, but it was clean and kitschy and the food was different from my norm, in a positive way, so for a change up, give it a go.