Pho 97 used to be at a different location, a bit further up the road until a few years ago they moved to a brand new location that's closer to all the other Asian markets and restaurants. I must say the new move helped the business look a bit more cleaner and more like a restaurant than a "shack", but still has the same Vietnamese family style vibe to it. It's not modern by any means, but they did update their look compared to the old restaurant.
My parents always mentions Pho 97 because of their broth. They both agree that the broth is rich and sweet in flavor. I don't mind the broth flavor itself, but the pho here is not my favorite due to the grease that floats on top of the soup. I hate the feeling of grease sticking to my lips and this bowl definitely stuck. I also feel that the serving size itself is not as big as other restaurants near by. They do offer a size up for an additional price, but there isn't that much of a difference.
I would consider this place a quick grab. The restaurant itself isn't something that calls out to me when I want Vietnamese food. The service itself is a turn off only because they do not check up on your table nor fill up your drinks. It made me feel like I should just go ahead and serve myself. The interior also reminds me of a tacky ma and pop kind of restaurant, which isn't always bad. Unfortunately, Pho 97 is lacking and definitely does not wow me.
This wasn't the worse bowl of pho I've ever had, but sadly it's not a place that comes to mind whenever I want Vietnamese food. The only positive note I have is that the food came out super fast, somewhat scary fast. It could just have been that we were the only table at the restaurant on a Sunday evening.
6800 49th St N
Pinellas Park, FL 33781