I will always have a special place in my heart for Pagolac, because Pagolac is where I was first introduced to Pho. Satay Pho to be exact, but Pho none-the-less. My mom first brought me to the Southside Pagolac after one of her friends took her to the Downtown location for lunch and I really had no clue what I was in for. One taste of the deliciously rich and spicy broth and I was hooked. The funny thing about Satay Pho though, is that my mom and I call it “spicy soup.” We’ve called it that for as long as I’ve been eating it and although I know better now, I rarely call the soup by it’s proper name.
Although the prices (absolutely) and recipe (seems to) have changed over the years, Pagolac remains a favourite. I love that the restaurant is randomly in the middle one of Edmonton’s Industrial areas (actually it’s now quite convenient for me) and the wood panelling on the walls just adds to the charm.
The Satay Pho at Pagolac is described on the menu as “Beef with Rice Noodle in Satay Sauce (Spicy)” and you can either select the regular size serving or the large one. The regular size is more than enough for me and I find the large is perfect to share with someone else (especially when you add on an order of green onion cakes to split too). The Satay Pho at Pagolac has a wonderfully spicy broth, but it’s not too spicy, and a great depth of flavour. The soup is loaded up with tons of noodles, thinly sliced beef, tomatoes, lettuce, peanuts and all sorts of other things that I probably don’t know about. The pho is served with a lime wedge, bean sprouts and an additional hot pepper that can be added to the soup. The combination of all of these ingredients makes this one of my favourite things to eat in Edmonton.
Of course, no bowl of pho is complete without some spring rolls or green onion cakes to accompany it. I love the green onion cakes at Pagolac, they are crispy, flaky and full of onions, nothing like those hockey puck shaped green onion cake wannabes that you find at some of Edmonton’s summertime festivals.
Although the heat in the Satay Pho is perfectly manageable (in fact, enjoyable) for me, I usually find that by the time I am done my bowl of soup, I’ve used a few Kleenexes to clear out my nasal passages. It’s actually this “lovely” phenomenon that also makes Spicy Soup one of my favourite indulgences when I am sick with a cold. Decongestants, antibiotics, nasal irrigation and hot steam might have helped me through my last sinus infection… but I’m pretty sure that spicy soup is the magic elixir that really cured me! 😉