Good pho you

Golden Flower’s Pho Ga Chicken Noodle Soup and spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce will cure what ails ya—even if its just massive hunger.

Golden Flower’s Pho Ga Chicken Noodle Soup and spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce will cure what ails ya—even if its just massive hunger.

Photo By David Robert

Golden Flower Vietnamese

205 W 5th St.
Reno, NV 89503

(775) 323-1628

As much as I like to eat at expensive restaurants, my budget doesn’t allow it. When I want to go out and taste flavors from around the world without spending more than $10, I find myself frequenting Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Greek, Filipino and Vietnamese restaurants. I like these restaurants because the food is healthy, the flavors are intense, and the culture of each country comes out in the food.

Inside Golden Flower, the atmosphere is laid back and relaxed. This is a friendly, family-operated restaurant. The Golden Flower’s large dining room and staff are capable of handling large parties, which I liked because it seems so many restaurants are unable to accommodate more than six or eight people at a time.

Our server came to take our order, and my friend Paige and I ordered the Espresso Iced Coffee with Condensed Milk ($1.75), served in an individual drip maker over a coffee cup with sweetened condensed milk in it. After about five minutes, the coffee was done dripping, and I stirred it and poured it over ice. Wow! It was very strong. I loved it. Now I know where to go for a hot summer afternoon pick up. It beats an iced latte any day.

After that, we ordered the Spring Roll ($4.50) and the B.B.Q. Pork Vietnamese Sandwich ($3.29). These two menu items turned out to be my favorites. The pork sandwich, an appetizer, would be a satisfying lunch by itself. It was a French roll stuffed with barbecued pork, shredded carrots, cilantro, cucumber and spicy green chiles—one of the best deals in town for a delicious, quick meal for under five bucks. The spring roll is served cold, wrapped in rice paper, filled with shrimp, pork, basil, lettuce and rice noodles and served with peanut dipping sauce. On a hot day, this is a light and refreshing snack.

Next, we ordered the Pho Ga Chicken Noodle Soup ($5.50) and the Flame Broiled Beef with Lemongrass ($7.50). The pho came with a side plate of bean sprouts, basil leaves, lime and green chilies. If I have a cold, this would be the best thing to eat—easy to digest, with good nutrients and medicinal value from the spicy green chiles. The beef with lemongrass came with steamed rice and was enough food for two people.

I love Thai food, and the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine are similar because they come from the same region of the world. After eating this, I was convinced that I like Vietnamese food. The menu has so many different items that I could try something different every time I come here, and I know I’ll be back.

On our way out the door, we met Kim, who has owned Golden Flower for more than 10 years. He proudly introduced us to his family and showed us the Vietnamese desserts: parfait-style dishes of three types of beans and seaweed layered in sugar syrup—very interesting. I was too full for dessert, but I know that I have to try them some other time at least once.

The Golden Flower is a restaurant I will include in my regular rotation of inexpensive global destinations—delicious food, friendly service and not painful on the pocketbook.