The Lincoln neighborhood of Tacoma is flush with Vietnamese restaurants, and with many similar restaurants across the street and next door to each other, is there a true winner in the neighborhood? The best restaurant should have great service to match tasty food, and it should feel like a place I want to spend time at. I've found my favorite amid the competition on South 38th: Pho Dragon.
Pho Dragon's menu features the typical spread of spring rolls, noodle soups, and rice dishes, but offers a handful of dishes that are trickier to find in some of Tacoma's many Vietnamese restaurants. I'm a sucker for banh xeo, a Vietnamese crepe usually filled with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts. Pho Dragon's rendition is absurdly large with a shatter-crispy crust housing the filling. Sweet chili sauce, herbs, and lettuce ride shotgun and can be added as you like. Food always comes out of the kitchen quickly and is served with tea
I'm a fan of the atmosphere and service at Pho Dragon. The owner, who is almost always there and frequently serves your table himself, is energetic, friendly, and obviously cares a great deal about improving his business for his guests. The restaurant is overall very comfortable to be in, though if I have one complaint, it would be the enormous television that dominates most of one wall; it can be loud and distracting. Otherwise, Pho Dragon is a welcoming space with great service.
Pho Dragon offers solid food made by people who care. It's not a once-in-a-lifetime kind of restaurant, nor does it pretend to be; it's a casual spot to grab a tasty bowl of noodles and relax. Pho Dragon hits all my marks for a good place to eat, and it's definitely worth a trip to 38th to check it out for yourself.