I don’t supposed it’s absolutely necessary to know who the four guys of Four Guys Pho in Casselberry are but it does beg the question. Though as far as I know, no one loses any sleep over not knowing who the five guys of Five Guys Burgers are. (They are the Murrell brothers from Washington, D.C., though the fifth one wasn’t born yet when his older brothers started the business, posing another question that will go begging for now.)
The website for Four Guys Pho says that the Vietnamese restaurant is also the project of brothers, though no names are offered. And when I called the restaurant to ask, the gentleman who answered the phone said that if I wanted to know their names I would have to come to the restaurant because he wasn’t authorized to give that information out over the phone.
Maybe it should be called the Soup of the Secretive Siblings.
Whatever. The food, especially the pho, was quite good when I visited recently.
I started with an appetizer of Grilled Beef Summer Rolls, which, you should know, means the beef was grilled, not the rolls. The meat was wrapped inside translucent rice paper along with vermicelli noodles, lettuce and basil and served with a sweetish garlic chili lime sauce. I liked the coolness of the appetizer and all of the flavors inside the wrapped package.
For the traditional Pho, the quartet of unknown brothers allow guests to choose which meats to go into the bowl and charge according to the number of selections. You may have sliced beef eye round; beef meatball; beef brisket; beef tripe; or beef tendon. You’ll be charged $8.95 for one item, $9.95 for two, $10.95 for three, or $11.95 if you want them all dumped in. I suppose this is a more efficient way to present the options than at other area Vietnamese restaurants that list all of the various combinations as separate line items so that the menu runs into over a hundred entries. Here, all of the phos options are under item number 17; 56 is as high as the menu goes. (That would be for the Special Clay Pot, with beef, chicken, shrimp and Vietnamese sausage — no choices to be made.)
I selected the beef eye round and the beef meatball. The soup was served with the meats in the broth along with the rice noodles, some onions and chopped scallions. As it the usual case, various accoutrements — bean sprouts, jalapeño slices, Asian basil and a lime wedge — were served on the side to be added as desired.
All of it was good but nothing was better than the broth itself. It had a wonderful perfumery note, both in the aroma and the taste. It was rich but smooth. It didn’t need any of the sauces available at the table, though I did add a bit of chili paste and fish sauce.
Four Guys Pho occupies the space that for many years was Cypriana Greek restaurant. Tables and booths feature oxblood red cloths topped by glass. A plastic flower next to the condiment tray adorns each table.
My server was friendly and welcoming. So was the man who eventually greeted me after I stood at the front for more than a couple of minutes while he counted something nearby. There’s no possible way for me to know at this point if he is one of the four brothers.
Whoever they are, they serve a very good pho.
Four Guys Pho is at 505 State Road 436, Casselberry. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-755-6670.