Tag Archive | Greenville South Carolina

Pho 99 – Wade Hampton Greenville SC

This is not a positive review. I don’t have many of these but every now and then I go somewhere and I am disappointed. I was not going to review them, but then I decided that I need to do my duty to my foodie friends who might see this place and think it is a hidden treasure dive waiting to be discovered.

This restaurant served Thai food. I went with my uncle just to check it out. When we entered, I should have known that we were not going to have a good experience because I felt a negative vibe. The server was at the cash register but did not greet us at all. He almost seemed as if he was annoyed that we dared to enter his restaurant. I decided that I could be misunderstanding his facial expressions and tone of voice because cultural differences. It should have been a red flag that there were no other customers in the restaurant, but I decided it was the time of day (that time period between lunch but not yet dinner).

Since he made no effort to seat us, I went to the counter and asked if we could sit at any table and if we could have menus. In a seemingly reluctant manner, he nodded his head and gave me menus.

The pictures in the menu do not match the food. I was surprised that they had fried spring rolls, but the picture looked tasty so I ordered it. I asked if there were any peanuts in the dipping sauce that accompanied the rolls, and the guy said "No" with a frown on his face (I do not know if the frown was because he did not understand what I said OR if it was because he did not want to me ask questions). Knowing about peanuts in food is important to me because I have a peanut allergy. I do not want to have an allergic reaction just because I was too polite to ask what are the ingredients in a food dish.

My uncle wanted a plain vegetable soup or simple broth. The waiter said that they did not have that. At this point, I was frowning because I could not believe it. I thought maybe the waiter did not understand our request or if he was being intentionally difficult in order to dissuade us from eating there. He said the only soup they had was meatball soup. If my uncle wanted soup that is what he had to order. Okay. Fine.

We got our orders. As you can see from the picture, I did not have fried spring rolls. Although not pictured, the dipping sauce did have peanuts. And the "meatball soup" had tough, un-chewable, meat of indeterminable origin. I ate the spring rolls since I ordered them. I felt like it was partially my fault for assuming that the picture was of the actual food. Plus I did not want to get into an argument with the server who I decided at this point probably did not speak enough English to understand my complaint. On the other hand, my uncle had difficulties choking down his soup. The meat’s flavor was just as bad as its texture. And the broth had so much of the meat’s flavor it was inedible also.

Not even finishing the food, I went to the register to pay for our food so we could leave. My uncle originally said he would pay for it, but I told him that I would take care of the bill since it was my fault we were there. As we were leaving, the waiter had a smile on his face. At this point, I was a little suspicious of our whole experience. Did he play a prank on us? Was it give-extremely-bad-service-to-the-English-speaking-people day?

I like good food and decent customer service. I understand that "decent customer service" may vary from country to country. But I have been to other Thai restaurants and the service was at the very least, polite. At Pho 99, I did not even think that they were being polite. I felt as if I was an unwelcome intruder into their restaurant. My experience there was horrible and, as much as it depends upon me, I am never going back.

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Closing 2012 with THE Opinionated Woman awards

Opinionated Woman Awards for 2012

As year 2012 comes to an end, I decided that as part of my reflection over the past year I will give awards based on categories that I chose. There are two main categories: Literary and Foodie awards. I know these awards have little significance, but since this is my blog I make the rules.

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Literary Awards

Favorite author of the year Brenda Jackson

Her books have consistency and predictability in a good way. I have liked all of her books so far. The characters were alike in many ways but different enough so it was not the retelling of the same story over and over.

Favorite book of the yearThe billionaire wins the game by Melody Anne

This book is super sweet. I love the story of Amy and Lucas. They are wonderful characters and their story is heartwarming. This book has become my go to novel when I went to read something pleasant and comforting.

Favorite thriller of the yearAll for one by Ryne Douglas Pearson

I had so many emotions reading this book. A bully is murdered and his victims are the suspects. Even though I wanted justice to be served, I was sympathetic to his victims and part of me did not want them to be found guilty even if they were. The author did a wonderful job of weaving an engaging story.

Hottest romance of the yearThe Proposal by Brenda Jackson

It is no surprise that Jackson is bringing the heat. Jason and Bella have a super steamy romance and a wonderful story to go along with it.

Creepiest book of the yearAuld Lang Sigh by Jennifer Connor

In this story Ella and Lee hook up after she misses her bus going home. He owns a copy shop in the building where she lives. To me, he comes off like a stalker because he is super observant regarding the details of Ella’s life. He is a stranger but knows a lot about her lifestyle since he has been watching her. As he recounted many of his observations, warning bells should have been ringing in Ella’s head. Instead she sleeps with him! This is very risky behavior to me even if this is a nonsensical romance novel.

Foodie Awards

Favorite restaurant of the yearChicago Grill

What can I say? I love the chicken Philly. The bread is wonderful, there is plenty of seasoning on the meat, and the peppers and cheese are scrumptious.

Favorite food truck of the yearAsada

Everything that I have tried from Asada has been delicious. I am following them on Facebook so that I know where they will be serving lunch when I have an opportunity to be in Greenville. And as I followed them around town, I hope that they will decide to serve empanadas that day since that is my favorite dish from their food truck.

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So even though it does not mean much, I congratulate all of the 2012 award winners. I look forward to trying even more things, reading more books, and sharing more opinions in 2013.