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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Food
Feel
Price
7.5
8.0
$30
Vietnamese
Casual restaurant

Hours
Sun–Thu 11:00am–9:30pm
Fri–Sat 11:00am–10:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar BYO
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted

www.phothienan.com

Midtown
126 W. Rector St.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 348-8526
Pho Thien An Vietnamese Restaurant
Move beyond the friendly pho to bountiful bun and fragrant “frogg” legs

Ever had a winter roll? Distinguished by both pork pieces and slivered pork skins, plus a little lettuce and cilantro, Pho Thien An’s are very simple and very good. The more common green papaya salad, mantled with slivers of pork and shrimp and dusted with crushed peanut, is prettier but can be bitter. If this happens, move on to what is effectively another salad, the rare beef and lemon juice with purple onion topped with tangles of deep fried shallots and aromatic basil. Sprinkle on the salt and peppercorn mixture.

The various bun dishes aren’t quite as complex in their combinations and permutations as PTA’s pho, but there are 14 of these irresistible rice noodle bowls nonetheless. Try the bun thien an, vermicelli with grilled pork, spring roll, and shrimp cake; it’s a very attractive package.

Apart from the presence of two TVs, sound on low but tuned to competing channels, Pho Thien An is a very pleasant place, blessed with a minimum of echt-Asian trappings; we don’t mind hanging around for the arrival of frogg [sic] legs, stir fried with lemon grass and chili pepper and fragrant with yellow curry. It takes some work to eat these, and your fingers will be aromatic for hours. Never mind; it’s worth it.

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