Many people in this world have a dream job. A job they’ve been hoping for their entire life. Sometimes, for a lucky few, that dream job lands in your lap.
Pho-Yo Vietnamese Cuisine owner Huy Dang was one of those lucky few.
Huy was out with a friend while looking for a place to eat, when the pair stopped into Simon’s Cuisine, an Argentinian restaurant on St. Mary’s Road. While eating their meal, the two discussed Huy’s future plan to start his own restaurant. The owner, oddly enough not named Simon, overheard Huy’s desire and approached him, saying that the restaurant was for sale.
If Huy heard anything else just then, it would have been the sound of opportunity landing in his lap.
“I love the working space, and the kitchen is massive, so it was pretty funny how it worked out,” said Huy.
It wasn’t like Huy wasn’t looking for a potential place. He was. So when the opportunity presented itself, he scrounged up all the money he could, and, with a little help from family members and Futurpreneur, opened Pho-Yo in December of 2015.
“Cooking was something I always loved to do. I started when I was young, watching my mom in the kitchen,” said Huy. “Since then, I had always found myself working for a restaurant, or for somebody that owns a restaurant.”
“I took what I learned and made it my own,” Huy says, in regards to his experiences working in kitchens.
Pho-Yo is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, and Huy is always there to make sure everything is running smoothly.
“I do a little grocery shopping, every day. I like everything fresh, not stock. I come in early before we open and get things ready. Then I’m here after we close to prep for the next day.”
One of the new experiences for Huy is the interaction with customers, having previously been working in the kitchens of restaurants.
“Coming to work and seeing repeat customers. When someone comes in and compliments your food, that’s a wicked feeling.”
Huy keeps the menu small at Pho-Yo, in order to focus on a few special dishes rather than a wider variety at a lower quality.
“When you have too many options, you can’t keep things fresh. You have to freeze it, and when you do it lowers the quality of the texture and the taste.”
On the Menu
There are a number of Vietnamese dishes available, as well as the top selling pho. Pho is served with rice noodles, sliced onion, green onion, red onion, and cilantro, and garnished with bean sprouts, Thai basil, chili peppers or jalapenos, and lime wedges.
Pho-Yo is located at 513 St. Mary’s Road Unit B. It’s at the corner of St. Mary’s and Essex, tucked away next to Joe Daley’s Sports & Framing. Visit Pho-Yo’s website at phoyo.ca, and be sure to check out Pho-Yo Vietnamese Cuisine on Facebook for a preview of what’s in store.