My daughter needed new shoes. Like, seriously. Her feet were on fire from standing up all day at a robotics competition the day before, where she was co-lead for building and driving the bot. (They won, by the way, for the first time in her school’s history!) But her poor feet just needed something with better support than her years old tennis shoes. This meant a visit to my favorite local running store, Lucky Road Run Shop in Willow Lawn.
When we pulled into the parking lot, the first thing my daughter noticed was the sign for Pho 95, as pho is one of her favorite things. “Moooommmmm!!! Can we go?” Well, I obliged after she chose a stunning pair of Hokas. That makes 3 out of 4 of our family Hoka fans! (I solemnly swear that I did not make her choose the Hokas!) Now that she won’t grow anymore, I don’t mind investing in quality shoes.
Willow Lawn is an area of Richmond that historically has had challenges keeping restaurants open. There are currently 2 empty restaurants in the shopping center, sadly. Zoe’s Kitchen was recently taken over by CAVA (an upgrade, in my opinion), with a relatively new IHOP, Chopt, Tropical Smoothie, 5 Guys, and Panera as the main restaurants remaining. So this mom and pop Vietnamese restaurant is a welcome addition to the long list of national chains there.
The restaurant itself is small, but the menu is large, diverse, and omni-friendly, including a multiple option vegetarian menu, which, in the absence of eggs or egg noodles, is essentially vegan. The staff were very friendly and kept our water glasses full. I chose #64: a dish with tofu, vegetables, fried rice noodles, and a brown sauce. I did request no fish sauce, as sometimes this gets sneaked into sauces despite a dish’s vegetarian designation.
I was not disappointed. This dish was beautifully presented as well as delicious! The fried rice noodles kind of reminded me of a hash brown patty, but better. The sauce was very flavorful, as were the tofu strips. The veggies were perfectly stir-fried. I would definitely get this dish again. It was so good that my omnivorous daughter regretted her pho order.
I’m always in favor of supporting a local business over a national chain. So if you find yourself shopping in Willow Lawn, check out this amazing Vietnamese restaurant! I’m already contemplating what dish I will try on my next visit!
Do you love Asian food, too? The first time I tried tofu was in an Asian restaurant, just because I knew that the chefs would cook it well. Although my skills with this vegan staple have vastly improved in my vegan evolution, they still do a better job than me!
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.