Pho Dat Thanh – Our Favorite Pho Joint in Columbia

The first house I ever owned was in Columbia. It was in the little neighborhood right next to the East Columbia library. There’s an apartment complex nearby that used to be called the Chimneys of Cradlerock (a terrible name) and is now called the Preserve at Cradlerock (infinitely better).

When we lived there, our favorite place to get pho was Pho Dat Thanh off Snowden River Parkway.

Oddly enough, there are two pho places on Snowden River Parkway. We happened to visit Pho Dat Thanh (initially) because it was visible from the “parkway” and the second spot, An Loi, is set back a bit behind a Taco Bell and Exxon in the shopping center right down the street.

In my twenty years in the area, I’ve been to An Loi just once. I have nothing against them, it’s just that we loved Pho Dat Thanh ever since our first visit and there was really no reason to change. 🙂

Yesterday, while we were out running some errands, we stopped by Pho Dat Thanh for lunch. Their lunch special is fantastic, with great portions and selection. You pick three items and they put it over a bed of steamed rice – our favorites tend to be Grilled Pork, Stir-Fried Lemon Grass Chicken, and Pork simmered in a caramel sauce. This time, I swapped out the pork for stir-fried mixed vegetables.

My wife wasn’t feeling 100% so went with something fairly light, the chicken egg noodle soup:

Check out the fresh veggies you get for the soup (all their soup noodle dishes):

Finally, I also ordered a Fish Hot Pot because it’s delicious and I forgot to take a picture until I’d eaten about a third of it!

When we take the whole family, we usually get some appetizers as well, like their spring rolls or grilled beef in grape leaves, but passed on those this time since it was just the two of us. (plus, I got the fish pot, so it was quite a bit of food)

It was nice to go back and sit down in the restaurant. Ever since Covid, we’ve just been getting takeout despite not living nearby. They went through a remodel a few years ago, which made the interior much nicer, and we’re always thankful they made it through the pandemic.

While we tend to go to Pho 5 Up these days for pho (in part because it’s so close), we will always have a soft spot for Pho Dat Thanh.


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