Don't be fooled by the simple exterior. Phσ Mekong in Utica, the latest stop in our Small Town Eats feature, is extraordinary.

Officially, it's Phσ Mekong House of Noodles. The Vietnamese restaurant located at 601 John Street, in between Park and Elizabeth streets and near Bleecker, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM through 8:00 PM. With creative, signature dishes like Drunken Noodles and Railroad Fried Rice, Phσ Mekong has become a favorite spot for college students to downtown professionals. And deservedly so. Click the video for a quick tour of their specialties.

One of the main things you need to know to help you decipher what you're ordering: "Phσ" is the Vietnamese word for soup. You'll find an entire section of the menu dedicated to that. As for the other half of the restaurant's name, Mekong is one of the largest rivers in Southeast Asia.

Phσ Mekong is one of a few Mohawk Valley eateries specializing in Vietnamese cuisine, but probably the most full-service restaurant among those choices.

The portions are large, so don't be surprised if you end up taking home a box you can enjoy for lunch the next day.

They also serve special Vietnamese coffees and fruit shakes.


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