Dishin’: Psycho (Pho) Cyclo

In explaining its name, Pho Cyclo tells us that “the cyclo drivers are the eyes and ears of the local street scene” who can “point you to where you can always get a delicious meal at a great price.”

Seattlest can now tell you about a pho place that will assault your eyes and ears the minute you walk in off the street.

Last week, Dishin’ reported on a Chinese restaurant where the waitstaff kept coming to our table before we were ready to order. That was nothing compared to our experience at Pho Cyclo on Capitol Hill.

We hadn’t sat for more than a few seconds, staring at the over-stimulating wall depicting a street scene in Vietnam, when a server steps up and asks for our order. We ask for more time. It’s hard to concentrate as “I Will Survive” blasts our ears. Another song (are we really hearing “YMCA” at a restaurant?), and another server appears with notepad in hand. Still not ready, as it’s nearly impossible to talk over the tunes. Now it’s something from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Then the original server comes over and when we say we need a little more time, he asks, “How many minutes?”

Screaming from the speakers: “Do the Hustle.” How appropriate.

It’s annoying. We’re dining, not discoing, and we’d like to relax and catch up with our friends without being hustled into our meal. Speaking of which, the food wasn’t bad, but was it go-back-worthy? We had the pho, and while the quality of the meat was good, we prefer Than Brothers for its better broth and cream puff. And Pho Cyclo’s menu lacked the appeal of what we enjoy at our beloved Green Leaf.

In the end, we were happy to escape to the relative calm of the street.

Originally posted at Seattlest (where “we” = me) on November 10, 2006. I recently went to the Sodo location where the music was mellower and the service a bit better. The pho, though, was much the same.

Pho Cyclo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Pho Cyclo Cafe on Urbanspoon



2 Responses to “Dishin’: Psycho (Pho) Cyclo”

  1. October 13, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    oh jay. The real action is the bun thit nuong
    (charbroiled pork with rice noodle). They’re also better at the sodo location.

    greenleaf is just a different kind of restaurant. It’s like comparing a pizza place to an italian restaurant.

    hope you’re well.


  2. admin
    October 13, 2008 at 11:13 am #

    Ah, thanks for the recommendation, Sara. I’ll have to check that dish out!

    And, yes, true about Green Leaf…

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