Heaven via fusion sandwich
iPho Tower delivers the perfect sandwich you never knew you wanted.
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It’s the basis of every Reese’s peanut butter cups commercial. How could such an odd pairing, chocolate and peanut butter, create the perfect marriage? That was the very thought that overtook my mind as I bit into my Vietnamese-French Specialty Sandwich from iPho Tower in Westport.
The restaurant itself charms with its unconventional looks. Vibrantly-colored lanterns cover every inch of the ceiling and mismatched chairs line the floor. The sprawling decor also includes a giant golden statue of the Buddha next to an abnormally large canvas painting of Marilyn Monroe. The sounds of Olympic basketball, projected from the numerous TVs, mixed with fist pumping music at a speaker-damaging volume is a lot to take in. Fortunately, all of the quirks of this hole-in-the-wall joint located across the street from the Uptown Theater faded away the moment my sandwich was placed in front of me.
A beautiful piece of French baguette sliced in half was stuffed with marinated beef and pork, cucumbers, shredded carrots, mint, cilantro and dauntingly huge slices of jalapeno. Each ingredient complimented the other in an unparalleled mixture of spicy, sweet and sour. A waitress with short, cropped hair and a slight, unidentifiable accent explains why adding chiles to the sauce makes it so special. She continues on about what makes it so addictive, but there is no rousing me from the sandwich-induced trance I have just entered- a happy place where every flavor is in sync and nothing could ever come close to being as delicious. Taking a healthy bite of a centimeter-thick jalapeno snaps me out of it.
I was thoroughly impressed so I decided to try the restaurant’s namesake, their famous pho. I order the chicken pho. The aroma is intoxicating when it arrives. Again, they have achieved the perfect blend of flavors. One taste reveals the balance of vinegar and fish sauce in the broth. I reach for bottle of Sriracha, squeeze a healthy amount into the wide bowl and begin stirring it with a single chopstick.
Because I am blinded by some sort of sandwich sorcery, I’m probably not the most reliable source, in that I have no negative feedback whatsoever. iPho Tower lets you experience the mind blowing fusion of two cultures via sandwich and only get set back 5 or 6 dollars. I cannot possibly recommend it more.