Andy Phan is accustomed to clearing up people’s misconceptions about pho, a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup.
“After they try this soup, they keep coming back, coming back,” said Phan, who is co-owner, manager and part-time chef of Pho Factory on Little River Turnpike. “It’s totally different than what they’ve been thinking before. It’s more like a full meal — solid. So after they try it, they’re not only coming back but bringing friends and family.”
Phan, a Fairfax resident, emigrated to the United States in 1981. For seven years, he owned Pho Nucuoi Saigon (which means “Saigon Smile”) in Woodbridge, which is now run by Phan’s cousin under the name Pho Saigon.
In October 2011, Phan opened Pho Factory with his girlfriend, Cindy Nguyen, and his brother, Tam Ton. The restaurant serves traditional pho and other Vietnamese foods, and business really began picking up three months ago, Phan said.
The space Pho Factory now occupies was formerly a Thai restaurant that abandoned the space early last year, leaving the spot in a shabby condition. Phan has a friend who knew the shopping center’s landlord and put the two in touch.
“I said, ‘OK, this is a good opportunity.’ So, we jumped in,” Phan said. “We cleaned up everything, we turned everything upside-down. We remodeled and got everything really clean, and here we are.”
Specialities include seven varieties of pho, with sides that can be added to any bowl. Pho prices start at $7. The menu also features appetizers, rice dishes, fried rice, pan-fried noodles, vermiceli bowls, a vegetarian menu and smoothies.
The restaurant is located 6237 Little River Turnpike, at the 99 Depot Plus shopping center at the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Beauregard Street. It is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday and can be reached at 855-U-EAT-PHO (855-832-8746).
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