Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Restaurant Review: Pho Fur
I fondly recall the buffets of my youth, and the cardboard signs that hung above the tables. "All You Can Eat" they stated, though that vulgar promise through the years was refined into "All You Care to Eat." Suffice it to say, Pho Fur is a buffet of the "All You Can Eat" not the "All You Care to Eat" style. And that's my style. Once again it was Jacques Wool who commended this particular bistro to me. Leaning back in his chair, Jacques puffed on his stogie and remarked, "There are buffets and then there are buffets. Pho Fur is a veritable smorgasbord. You simply cannot think of it as a buffet. It is impossible. It is simply impossible." And so I found myself standing in front of the smorgasbord wondering what on earth to try first. One container held nothing but dried pear slices. Of course I piled my plate high with these dainties. One of the waitrons growled at me for reaching in with my bare hands, but when I explained that the tongs looked unsanitary, he quickly apologized, sheepishly. I next applied a fine mint drizzle to the pear slices, then topped it off with some flavor flakes from the flake shaker. Jacques Wool had cried out, "A feast fit for a monarch!" And of course he was correct. I set my plate down into the tiny stream that carried it to my table--a nice feature, one that I'd never seen before. After finishing off the tasty slices, I returned to the dessert area to create a dessert mountain. Jacques Wool again: "The desserts are not children's party favors! You must not go in there with those thoughts. That is not what Pho Fur has ever been about!" Wool pounded the table and his ashtray jumped into the air, scattering the ash that protruded and extended from the tip of his nauseating cigar. "We are talking the finest smorgasbord in the region, and you are treating it like a convenience store! What are you thinking!" Disgusted, Jacques glared at me in silence for fifteen minutes. With his admonition in mind, I selected a number of desserts from the buffet, starting with the chocoholic waffles, the marzipan circus replica, and the cotton-candy tumbleweed. The words of Jacques Wool bounced around in my head as I once again set my plate into the servant stream. "Heck, this is only the most important cantina known to humanity! And you talk about snacks. Snacks!" Though I had said nothing at all about snacks, I knew better than to contradict Jacques when he was going into one of his rants. The dessert nudged against the edge of the shore and I lifted it to my table, dripping bright. And for the first time in the history of my vocation as Food Reviewer, I give a restaurant five--not four, or three, but five!--Sprigs of Parsley.