Pho 515 – Des Moines

I worry that eating in Vietnam may forever have spoiled me and that no Vietnamese restaurant in the U.S. will have anything near the great food we had. So far, that’s been true. I’ve visited two Vietnamese restaurants in Des Moines and both fell far short of Vietnam. But maybe that’s too high a standard.

Pho 515 is in a corner of a huge Asian supermarket on Des Moines’ near north side and I’ve meant to go there for ages. Finally made it and at lunch the place was packed, mostly with Asian diners. My crispy pork with turned out to be large moist chunks of pork with an almost burnt orange crispy rind that was very crunchy. The dish itself was bland but the quality was good. A friend had a pho with supposed crab cakes but we never figured out if/what they were. It did have some tasty tofu. I’ll definitely give the place another try — there was a great selection of banh mi sandwiches. (Pho 515, bills itself as the “ONLY Artisan Style Banh Mi bakery in Iowa.”) I also want to do some wandering around the supermarket which looked full of interesting things!

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