Phoxy Pho: A Taste of Southeast Asia on Dorr Street

Entering the storefront in the Library Plaza strip center on Dorr Street near Reynolds Road is pleasant and appealing. Split stalks of thick bamboo line the walls as calming, progressive jazz accompanies the subtle lighting for a functional, clean vibe. These signs let you know you’ve made it to Phoxy Pho, a taste of Southeast Asia right here in Toledo.

Beginnings for Phoxy Pho

Phoxy Pho is a generational departure by owner Tung Nguyen. His parents opened Pho Viet Nam (3636 Upton Ave.) a decade ago. Tung had graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine and then worked the international finance circuit in cities throughout Southeast Asia. But he missed the US, and his family here. So when his father asked Tung to help with Pho Viet Nam while his father visited his relatives in Vietnam, Tung answered the request. Tung’s “help” stretched into longer term management of the Upton Avenue restaurant, due to health limitations his father experienced while abroad. 

After running the family restaurant in Toledo, Tung saw how he could enhance the dining experience, which gave rise to the Phoxy Pho. Given that Pho Viet Nam closed in March 2024, the bygone restaurant’s spirit animates this second incarnation, featuring an expanded menu that fortunately still includes the housemade sriracha and chili paste, the family recipes of Tung’s parents. 

Varied offerings 

The banh mi bites, basically Vietnamese toast points with a spread of pate, topped with roasted pork, pickled cabbage and fresh cilantro reimagine the  traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. The tempura shrimp, five large shrimp, encased in a crispy, yet light, tempura batter, served with a zesty and creamy peanut sauce, were cooked perfectly — tender rather than chewy. 

The pho’s unique flavors owe to a broth with hints of clove and allspice, served with a variety of sides to add in, like the Sriracha-style sauce (house made from a family recipe), thinly sliced jalapeños, fresh bean sprouts and Vietnamese basil.

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We also sampled the Omnivore noodle salad, the wok-fried lemongrass option seasoned round-eye beef steak, deep fried pork gyoza (potstickers), vermicelli rice noodles, chopped lettuce, cucumber, cabbage and bean sprouts and topped with fried shallots, crushed peanuts; Served with fish sauce and the house vinaigrette, it’s an enticing combination that scratches a nuanced itch.

Phoxy Pho warrants a return trip to try the crispy noodle stir fry, offered with a variety of protein and vegetable options.

Friendly and accommodating

Another key trait Phoxy Pho inherited from its predecessor restaurant is the familial sense of hospitality. Friendly and courteous staff go out of their way to acquaint guests with their knowledge of the varied menu. The steady stream of customers who stopped in to pick up to-go orders during our meal testified to how well Phoxy Pho’s food lends itself to carryout.

Although Vietnamese food may not be a regular stop on many Toledoans restaurant itineraries, Phoxy Pho is an excellent point of departure to convert any uninitiated palates to the flavors of Vietnam. And more experienced diners can rest assured that the fresh and tasty foods of this Southeast Asian country are in good hands at Phoxy Pho.

4939 Dorr St.

Wednesday through Monday 11am-3pm / 5pm-8pm. 

Closed Tuesdays 


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