From the outside and the name, Cafe Joyeaux doesn’t conjure up phô, but step inside and you’ll see bowls of steaming hot noodle soup on almost every table. It is cafeteria-style eating so: lineup, place your order, get a number and grab a table. Make sure your number is visible; because that ensures you get your food fast.
Though they do serve both Western and Vietnamese food here, it’s obvious people are here for the latter. The portions are generous, and the noodles are the thin ones, though they do have a Spicy Beef and Pork option with thick vermicelli noodles. The broth is very meaty and is served piping hot. You won’t see the usual raw bean sprouts spotted at most Vietnamese places, because they are already tucked in the bottom of the bowl. The beef was done a medium rare with just a touch of pink, just the way I like it.
The Seafood Noodle Soup was good too with a milder and sweeter soup base. I didn’t know what to expect, but the wontons were a surprise as were the fish cake. I guess the shrimp was the only thing I thought of when I read “seafood”. Since everything is made to order, you might have a wait a bit but I prefer to wait than to have overcooked noodles.
Add the condiments as you see fit to spice or sweeten things up. I would reserve the ketchup for their Western menu, which consists of an all day breakfast of usual eggs any style with toast and potatoes with the option to add sausage, ham or bacon. At lunch time, they have a wide variety of sandwiches, such as Tuna Salad, BLT, and even Banh Mi.