Bobo Noodle House is another one of those places that has been on my list to visit for way too long. We live really close to this place, so I had high hopes going in that it could become a new go-to.
I checked out the menu at Bobo online long ago and was thrilled to find several possibly vegan options including vegetarian pad thai with tofu, vegetable dumpling pho with shiitakes and crispy vegetable spring rolls. Just a few months ago, Bryan Peters reviewed Bobo in his Veggielante column for the RFT and seemed to confirm that the pad thai and vegetable dumpling pho were indeed, vegan (no mention of the spring rolls, but I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be) – which renewed my desire to stop in for a meal, and soon! Seasoned veggie’s know that a good vegan pad thai isn’t all that hard to come by, but veggie dumpling pho? Not so much.
This is exactly what I planned to order last Friday when Andy and I stopped in Bobo for dinner. It seems they do a pretty solid take-out business in addition to their dine-in customers because we stepped into a moderately sized group gathered right inside the door that was waiting to place and/or pickup orders. With no signs about seating or directions of any kind posted, we were a little lost about whether we should have a seat or place our order at the counter, but quickly figured out that we were supposed to order at the counter and then sit to be served.
One thing I’ve learned (the hard way) about eating out as a vegan: never make assumptions. Even though I was fairly certain from the RFT review that both the items I was interested in were vegan, I asked the guy taking orders to confirm that the pad thai was, in fact, vegan, to which he replied that it was the only vegan item on the menu. Whaa? When I asked specifically about the vegetable dumplings, he wavered a bit but eventually settled on this “I’m not sure and I don’t have time to check.” Noticing my obvious dissatisfaction with that answer, he then told me that I didn’t need to order anything else because the pad thai was big enough.
Now look, I understand they were busy, but that’s a totally unacceptable thing to say to a customer. I guess if I’d have lied and said I had an allergy, maybe I’d have gotten to order what I primarily came there to try. That’s not really my style though and I don’t think I should have to resort to lying to make sure that a meal I’m paying for is suitable for my dietary needs. Also, if I was a more sensitive gal, he might’ve caught some serious hell for that “what you ordered is enough food for you” comment.
Anyway, the pad thai was good – though in dire need of some Sriracha, which they provide, if requested. I especially like the extra-wide noodles.
My husband very much enjoyed his meal and is interested in going back to check out a few other things on the menu, so I’m sure we’ll be back now and then. Hopefully next time someone there will have time to look into the ingredients for the pho and spring rolls so I can try something new too.
I’d say if you find yourself with a crowd in the mood for general pan-asian fare, keep Bobo in mind. If it’s just vegan pad thai you’re jonesing for though, go right up the street to Thai Cafe and ask them to hold the egg.