Pho Mi
February 23, 2017 2:47 PM   Subscribe

I am not very familiar with Vietnamese cuisine but have noticed local restaurants with names such as below. Is this a deliberate play on words, or oblivious? Is this common in other markets? I do understand that "pho" is pronounced "fuh" Canada, GTA if that helps. Healthy Asian local population obviously.. Pho Mi Pho King Pho Quinn
posted by raider to Food & Drink (29 answers total)
 
Yes, punny names for Vietnamese restaurants is a thing.

Atlas Obscura: These Restaurants Are Pho Real About Punning
—Vietnamese was by far the most common type of restaurant to have a pun name. The word “Pho” appears in 87 punny restaurant names out of 451 submitted—almost 20 percent of all restaurant names submitted contain a pun on “pho”.

—Pho King is the most common Pho pun.

—After Vietnamese restaurants, Thai restaurants were most represented among the names submitted: Thaiphoon, Thai’d Up, Thai One On were popular puns on Thai.
posted by zamboni at 2:51 PM on February 23, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'd vote deliberate punning. I've eaten at, among others, Pho Sho', Pho Shizzle, and Pho Dat before (and in related ethnic-cuisine-punning, a Thai-tanic in Washington, DC...).
posted by TwoStride at 2:51 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


In my town in central Colorado, we have a Pho-nomenal and a Pho Queen. We don't have a huge Asian population here.
posted by mochapickle at 2:53 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


Here in Austin we have a Pho King. I am actually really unhappy about this.
posted by RustyBrooks at 2:56 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


Thanks, hive mind! I'll take that as definitive proof...
posted by raider at 3:11 PM on February 23, 2017


Love the punny names though, feel free to keep them coming...
posted by raider at 3:14 PM on February 23, 2017


This is absolutely deliberate, and at least partially a way of capitalizing on/taking ownership of hilarious jokes that white people often make about how your language sounds to them. There's general recognition of how Vietnamese words can look/sound in the context of American English, e.g. lots of discussions about what to do with the names 'Dung' (pronounced, very roughly, yoong) and 'Phuoc'. More endogenously, there's also a deep tradition of punning in Vietnamese.
posted by ohkay at 3:15 PM on February 23, 2017 [9 favorites]


Austin also has a Pho-Natic. I find that these places tend to be generally less authentic/tasty and more "western-ized".
posted by monologish at 3:18 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


There was a Pho Cali near my university which sounded like a disturbingly unsubtle red light district the first dozen times I heard it.
posted by potrzebie at 3:31 PM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


Pho All Seasons
posted by mikeh at 3:42 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


There's a What The Pho not far from me as I type this.
posted by kindall at 3:55 PM on February 23, 2017 [4 favorites]


There's also Tu Hai here in Fort Worth, but that also apparently actually means "you have."
posted by cmoj at 3:57 PM on February 23, 2017


We used to have a place called "Moto Pho Co." They were the only Vietnamese place in town, and I really wanted to like them, but they were surprisingly terrible and closed within a year.
posted by basalganglia at 4:06 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


There's What The Pho and Pho Ever in Bellevue, WA.
posted by halogen at 4:08 PM on February 23, 2017


It's a little different, but Montreal had a Fukyu Sushi for a short time. (Most sushi restaurants in Montreal are run by Vietnamese folks – we've never had a big Japanese community.) We had a Pho Sho briefly too, but it wasn't very good, and "fo' sho'" isn't exactly part of the common parlance here.
posted by zadcat at 4:12 PM on February 23, 2017


9021-Pho in Beverly Hills (and other LA locations).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 4:15 PM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


DC also has "Beau Thai" and a food truck called "Pho Wheels."
posted by donut_princess at 4:31 PM on February 23, 2017


Here in orange county, CA we have tons of pho places, tons of punny names. We also have a thai place called Phuket Thai.
posted by Huck500 at 4:37 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


Here in Columbus, our area code is 614. Therefore, we have 61Pho.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 5:56 PM on February 23, 2017 [3 favorites]


There was a One Two Three Pho in Denver, and it was pretty good, but it closed.
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:43 PM on February 23, 2017


Phorever; Roll Play Grill
posted by candyland at 6:51 PM on February 23, 2017


Non-Vietnamese...Ann Arbor had a place in the 2000s called Sushi.come.

Yes.

Presumably they intended it to mean "come have sushi; also the Internet exists." That is not how it turned out.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:30 PM on February 23, 2017 [3 favorites]


Portland has/had Hung Far Low . . . Chinese, but yeah . . .
posted by ainsley at 10:04 PM on February 23, 2017


That reminds me of Ho Lee Chow in Toronto.
posted by kindall at 9:33 AM on February 24, 2017


Tallahassee (!) has a joint named Pho Me!, if you need to be pho'd in the Deep South.
posted by easement1 at 9:49 AM on February 24, 2017


The favorite place in Des Moines, IA is named A Dong. Really.
posted by scottatdrake at 10:42 AM on February 24, 2017


We have an iPho Tower in Kansas City.
posted by slenderloris at 10:52 AM on February 24, 2017


I plan to open a Vietnamese-Italian restaurant one day.

It will be called Pho Geddaboutit.



I'll see myself out now.
posted by KillaSeal at 2:50 PM on February 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


There was a place called Noodles Pho U in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, but I guess it closed.
posted by Standard Orange at 9:45 PM on February 24, 2017


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