Vietnamese restaurant serves up fresh and healthy menu |

Vietnamese restaurant serves up fresh and healthy menu

Kirk Caraway
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Opening a new restaurant in these trying economic times can be a scary proposition.

But that didn’t stop Thomas and Alysha Nguyen from opening the doors to Pho Country on North Carson Street last week. And if the first few days are any measure, they might be onto something.

“Lots of people said, why are you opening a restaurant in a recession,” Alysha said. “But I feel confident.”

Thursday was their first day, and Alysha said they were so busy that they kept the restaurant open until midnight, three hours past closing time. And the next day was more of the same.

“We came this morning at 7 to prepare, but by 9:30, people were already waiting outside,” Alysha said. “They wanted the soup, because of the weather.”

Pho is a type of noodle soup normally made with beef that is the most well known Vietnamese dish in this country. Alysha said her cousin in Vietnam served pho to former president Bill Clinton a few years ago when he visited the country.

“I know Americans like it if they try it,” she said. “My food is fresh and healthy, and people like to try something different.”

And while pho is the star of the expansive menu at Pho Country, it’s by no means the only thing they do. They offer many kinds of noodle dishes, as well as other entrees, featuring an abundance of healthy ingredients.

What’s also good is the price, with lunch items for under $6.

“People who come from work to eat lunch will like this food because it’s not expensive, and not so heavy,” she said. “It’s good and healthy.”

Vietnam was once a French colony, and you can see French influences on Vietnamese food such as the appetizer crepes made with chicken, shrimp and coconut milk.

They also offer what they call “Chinese fusion” items, though Alysha said they use less oil and sauce to make them lighter and healthier.

Alysha said she has lived in Carson City for 15 years, and though she had never worked in the restaurant business before, she and her husband thought the food would be a good fit for the area.

“I just want to do different food and better,” Alysha said. “In town, we have lots of Chinese, Mexican and Italian food, but not much Vietnam.”

They hired an experienced kitchen and wait staff, and Thomas’ mother supplied many of the recipes.

It took the Nguyens four months to remodel the building and to give what was once a Mexican restaurant a more elegant, Vietnamese feel.

“Every time we travel to Vietnam, we like to go into some of the popular restaurants to get ideas” about food and decor, Alysha said. “I copy from them. I like to go and learn new things.”

– Contact reporter Kirk Caraway at or (775) 881-1261.