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She Said: Rice Paper in Phoenix was pho-nomenal

As we approached the cute restaurant that sits on the east side of Seventh Street, I got the feeling I was really going to like this place — cute and quaint with a friendly staff that greeted us as we entered the patio.

“He” has been craving Vietnamese and has wanted to try Rice Paper for quite a while now. Me, being a pho (pronounced “fuh”) virgin, was excited to see what this pho was all about.

We started our meal at an outside table ordering the Pork Crispy Spring Rolls, Surf and Turf Fresh Spring Roll and the Fire Cracker Shrimp. Wow!

All were excellent. The waiter suggested to wrap the Pork Crispy Spring Roll in lettuce and add a sprig of mint. What a vast array of flavors — the salty pork and fried roll were counterbalanced by the refreshing earthy taste of the mint and lettuce.

The Surf & Turf Fresh Spring Roll was light and cool — rice paper filled with veggies, shrimp and pork which brought thoughts of summertime to mind. It was accompanied by a peanut sauce that was so delicious I could have eaten by the spoonful.

The Fire Cracker Shrimp was my naughty selection. The shrimp were crisp and tossed in a fiery glaze with a perfect amount of punch. — just enough heat to warm you up inside, but no burning sensation. Unfortunately, the shrimp didn’t keep me warm for very long and the weather took a cold turn (and a bee wouldn’t leave me alone) so we moved our party inside.

Indoors, the restaurant has a modern vibe, but still very comfortable. The bar was packed with patrons dining alone and we opted for the long community table in the center of the restaurant.

It was pho time! Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, bean sprouts and meat. Boy, have I been missing out! This was pho-nomenal!

Yes, there was a ton of pho jokes happening at our table.

The steamy bowl arrived with a side of herbs and spices so you could choose what you want to add or omit. “He” suggested to go for it, so I dumped them all in. The fragrance is strong, but so magnificent you would have guess you were walking through an herb garden. My first bite was mostly noodles, but the noodles alone were delectable as they had soaked up all the wonderful flavors from the bowl. Each bite was better than the last and left me with a pleasant comforting feeling. The shrimp was tasty but I believe any meat in this broth would be.

I was pleasantly surprised when the bill came which added to my new love for this place. The prices seemed very reasonable for the amount and quality of food. If you haven’t tried pho, I highly recommend it.

I can’t wait to visit Rice Paper again!