On the surface, Pho A.V., the tiny, six-month-old Vietnamese restaurant in North Phoenix, looks like many of the no-frills spots throughout the Valley: fluorescent lights, a modest assembly of tables and booths, a buzzing cooler.
Jackie Mercandetti Pho A.V. offers satisfying traditional Vietnamese dishes that stretch a $10 bill just about as far as it will go.
But through its doors hung with white lace curtains, in the back of the room on a blush-pink wall where an antenna connects to a television that is never turned on, there are three large black-and-white photographs. And it's through these images that you start to understand what this modest spot of traditional Vietnamese dishes and its owner, Phat Pham Tan, are all about.
Is it possible to appreciate a restaurant not only for its food but also for the people behind it?
In the case of Pho A.V., it is.More »