Monday, August 20, 2012

PDX Bun Chay Review I: Mai Pho

I really, really hate dental exams/cleanings, so it's nice that Mai Pho is a stone's skip away from my dentist's house of horror.  Every six months, I reward myself after a teeth cleaning with a big fat clam shell full of their take-away Bun Chay.  Dazee works closeby too, so sometimes I'll even get it more often if I'm behaving myself.

Bun Chay Superpowers at Work.
Mai Pho's bun chay (listed as lemongrass tofu vermicelli salad on their menu) is very good.  Be sure to tell the cook you want it vegan, since the regular sauce contains fish.  It's served a bit differently than other bun I've had, but it still hits the spot in the delicious department.  The vermicelli is served with the standard fried tofu (here it's seasoned with lemongrass), chopped lettuce and herbs.  But its departure from the norm is in the hot vegetable topping and sauce -- a stir fry consisting of celery, mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, cabbage and green onion is added along with their vegan sauce, which resembles a Chinese sweet and sour.

All the necessary parts are present, plus bonus points for the ground roasted peanuts.
The combination definitely works, although the sauce is a bit sweet. It also comes with a tub of chili sauce and soy sauce, which would helps with the sweet balance (I skip the soy due to it's wheaty nature, but it's an option).

Mai Pho
SW Alder & 9th (between 9th and 10th)
Portland, OR



  1. What a good idea to treat yourself to something delicious after doing something unpleasant but necessary! I should take your cue. I avoid going to the dentist for as long as possible. This bun chay sounds tantalizing. I envy your diverse vegan options in Portland!

  2. That looks delicious, I wish we could get something like that around here!


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