San Francisco: Pho and Egg Rolls at Ben Tre

egg rolls

egg rolls

We tried Ben Tre in South San Francisco for lunch one day a couple weeks ago. My friend had been a few times and it was popular with the locals.

We started out with the egg rolls fried to crispy perfection. I liked that it came with noodles so you can wrap them up along with the lettuce and carrots. I felt the filling was a tiny bit mushy but I still enjoyed them.

bun mi

bun mi

 

My friend had the bun mi  (dry noodles) with grilled pork, shrimp and egg roll. I thought the lettuce was a bit bizarre. It was roughly chopped and in huge pieces. I thought that would make eating the noodles a bit difficult.

combination pho

combination pho

 

I almost always get the combination pho (beef, tendon, tripe, meatballs) though I like to read the entire menu before ordering. Ben Tre had more than soup noodles and some of the rice dishes looked intriguing. If I were to come back, I’d try the spicy beef noodles or crab noodles next time.

combo pho now with bean sprouts

combo pho now with bean sprouts

 

Once I added in basil, bean sprouts, jalepeno slices and lime juice, my bowl was set. I found the meatballs disappointing as they were very smooth with no bits of tendon. They also tasted cheap. The quality of the other meats were so so. The broth was fine. Overall it wasn’t an okay bowl but it doesn’t compete with Pho Huynh Hiep in SF. And overall the pho shops I’ve been to SF haven’t competed with some of the best bowls I’ve had in LA, San Diego and Las Vegas. Maybe I need to make it a point to find the best bowl the next time I’m in SF.

Ben Tre

219 Grand Ave., South San Francisco, CA 94080  —  (650) 952-2243

© The Minty 2014

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