Pho Mekong is a no frills Vietnamese restaurant located in the East Lake district of Oakland.
When you walk in, you will see a few tables for small parties and a banquet room with tables that accommodate larger parties. The banquet room also has a television that plays local sports, as well as Vietnamese soap operas. The hostess will promptly seat you, and offer you hot tea.
The menu is large, and has a variety of soups, rice plates, and vermicelli plates. This restaurant is very popular for its delicious pho and their perfectly prepared bone broth. The broth is savory without being overly salty, and gives off a familiar iridescent hue, but is not overly oily. The most popular pho options are the chicken pho and the beef pho. Bowls of pho are offered in three sizes: regular, medium, and x-large. They have other soup options including Bun Bo Hue and Hu Tieu.
All options are warm, comforting, and packed with flavor. They offer combination vermicelli bowls that include the popular thin rice noodles topped with your choice of protein and salad. If you are a fan of pork chops, you must dine at Pho Mekong. Their pork is juicy and savory, but not overly fatty or gristly. You can order their pork as a vermicelli bowl or a rice plate. Try the pork chop rice plate with a fried egg.
They serve Vietnamese coffee drinks including café den, which is a strong black Vietnamese coffee, café sua, which the café den sweetened condensed milk, and café tran chau, which is the café sue with tapioca pearls. All of these beverages can be served da, which is Vietnamese for iced, or nong, which is Vietnamese for hot. They have fruit smoothie options including avocado, banana, mango, and strawberry. You can add tapioca pearls to any smoothie.
Pho Mekong gets extremely busy during lunch. If you are on a short timeline, order your food to go. The server does not bring your check to your table, so after your meal, walk up to the register and tell the counter person what you ordered. They happily accept cash or all major credit cards. The restaurant has a small parking lot on the outside parameter of the building for your convenience.