Just south of Everett off Highway 99 sits this
strip-mall joint that thousands drive by every day (you can spy it from the window).
Judging from the feedback we get, not just a few of them stop.
They're coming, reportedly, for the pho and the rest of the many noodle
dishes pan-fried egg noodles with seafood, rice vermicelli with grilled pork and
fried egg rolls and for the $2.50 banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) at lunchtime.
Some aren't coming at all, preferring instead to order out for their soups and spring
rolls and noodle plates, which arrive to destinations within three miles as long as
the order tops $20.
12025 Highway 99, Everett,
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Beer and wine / credit cards: MC, No Deliveries / no
obstacles to access
That won't be a problem. Pasteur's has for two years been
dishing out food so delicious, so authentically Vietnamese, it all but exhales the essence
of the country. It's a place where herbs burst boldly upon the palate you
cilantro-phobes, be warned and where broths breathe vapors as complex and fragrant
as French perfume.
The menu offers all the variety we've come to expect from
Vietnamese cafes hot pots, skillet dishes, vermicelli bowls, iced drinks galore
(including bubble tea) and includes a terrific variety of phos, the large size of
which will effortlessly feed two hungry diners.
As for atmosphere, you can indeed expect something more upscale
than the locale across the street from Home Depot might bespeak. It's polished, with a bar
set up at one end and plenty of tables up front. Stylish pendant lamps lend a little
cosmopolitan flair, while a pretty formidable language barrier no barrier to
accommodating service keeps things suitably international.
Spring roll: This appetizer is simple, no doubt about it:
shrimp, pork, lettuce and rice noodles wrapped inside a neat little rice-paper packet,
with peanut sauce for dipping. Done well, it's a little package of springtime. Done
flawlessly, as at Pasteur's, it's a helium balloon of fresh perfection, with a nice
potent sauce as counterpoint.
Brisket and meatball pho: The large is a tureen the size
of a swimming pool, so order advisedly, then dive in. Slurping this, one can tell where Pasteur's
gets its word-of-mouth: The pho is fragrant and lush, featuring big hunks of brisket and
meatball along with scallions, white onions and plenty of cilantro. Alongside arrives a
cold plate with palatable decorations: bean sprouts, basil, lime and jalapeño. The fun is
in adding a little of this and a little of that and even more fun at Pasteur's
due to the stunningly complex broth.
Rice with lemongrass and ginger chicken: A festival of
fresh vegetables carrots, broccoli, greens and baby corn appear with chicken
and cilantro in a fry-up over rice. The marquis players lemongrass and ginger
were clearly in evidence, though unintegrated throughout the whole. The result was
a bit of a schizophrenic experience one bite sublime with ginger, the next bereft,
the next alive with lemongrass, the next, well, dead. All that said the freshness
of the ingredients and the height of the high points rendered the overall experience a
Itemized bill, meal for two
Spring roll $2.95
Brisket and meatball pho $6.75
Rice with lemongrass and ginger chicken $6.95
Kathryn Robinson: firstname.lastname@example.org