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wifes pho special

Since moving from San Diego to Toledo, OH there have been a ton of adjustments and among them is the fact that things such as good pho shops are few and far between here in the midwest. Heather and I have been craving Pho Point Loma back home and frankly nothing is ever going to compare - but we might have found an option here in Ohio that will keep our bellies warm and full this winter at Wife's Ramen & Pho.

For Vietnamese pho purists Wife's Ramen & Pho place - located in Perrysburg, Ohio (just across the river from Toledo) is a bit different - no it's not that the younger, hipper vibe, but rather that Vietnamese and Japanese are very different cuilinary traditions even down to the chopsticks and serving styles. This is not a criticism of Wife's but for instance Japanese Chopsticks tend to taper to a sharp point where as Vietnamese (and Chinese) chopsticks tend to be longer and more blunt / less sharp at the end. 

Personally for me - someone who has used chopsticks based on a Chinese style - for more than 40 years, I found it very challenging to eat the pho noodles this way and in fact the noodles were different than what we've experienced in other more authentic and unicultural establishments too. 

outside wifes ramen pho

With that being said though, I suspect that these differences were in fact due to the restaurant being a pan-asian ramen shop that served pho more than just a pho shop. For instance, you can find Pork Bun and Shumai along with Vietnamese Summer Rolls and Takoyaki on the appetizer menu. 

pork spring rolls

We started with Pork Spring Rolls and Vietnamese Wings - we were a bit disapointed with the Spring Rolls as they felt mushy as if out of a frozen pack from Costco tha was microwaved quickly rather than placed in a fryer. However, the wings were quite good.

vietnamese wings

Next up was our pho ... I tried the Pho Special made with rare beef, beef meat ball, tripe, brisket, scallion, onion, and cilantro. Interestingly, when you order online you can make tons of adjustemtns including making it spicy, adding Pork Chashu, or even Tree Ear mushrooms to make it a cross-border fusion of Vietnamese and Japanese.

pho rare beef

Heather on the other hand tried the Pho Bo Vien with just meat balls.

pho sides

Both were good but we found it interesting that the sauces were served in a bento box like dish that made it difficult to get into the bowl but the very attentive server was happy to refill it for us to make it easier to get into our bowls.

wifes ramen and pho

Wife's Ramen and Pho hits an interesting note in the market here where Asian food isn't as popular as it is in California or more urban areas and so it is hard to fault it for trying to do a lot of things in one spot. One area that they absolutely nailed it with though was as a place to stop and get milk tea - though our server looked at me sideways when I said just wanted it plain and no boba bubbles.

They also offer Jelly Fruit teas and Yogurt Sodas too if you are looking for more sweet drinks.

Ultimately while we have no complaints about the pho here, I look forward to returning and trying the Udon and Soba noodles next time or maybe the Ramen instead.