There are so many reasons to appreciate , which sits in a strip mall near the corner of Community and Poway roads. As you may remember, I’m a fan of ethnic food, so P&V is right up my alley. Plus, it’s within walking distance of my house. It’s very small and quaint, but don’t let its size fool you. They’re one of Poway’s hidden gems!
I’ve been there a handful of times before and have never been disappointed. I thought it would present an interesting challenge for a column, since I’ve never really paid attention to how many meat dishes they have (when it comes to Thai food, I tend to go vegetarian).
My family and I ordered dinner to-go, thanks to a family emergency we were tending to. I’m familiar with their presentation, so there really wasn’t a question there (they do a beautiful job). We went a little light on the ordering, but only because none of us were particularly hungry.
I studied the menu for everything containing meat and was quite happy to discover that a majority of dishes were not only meat, but came with your choice of meat. Score! Many sections of their menu list the cost of the meal by protein selection, followed by all the different offerings of egg wraps, curries, rice, noodles and pan-fried dishes. I’m in love with the fact that you have the flexibility to get your dishes any way you want them. I wish more restaurants, ethnic or not, did this.
Here’s a rundown of what we ordered: chicken satay appetizer ($6.50), shrimp salad ($10), beef with broccoli ($8.95) and curry noodles with pork ($8.95). Their portions aren’t as big as other restaurants, but I’m OK with this since we’re horrible with eating leftovers. This $35 order was just enough to feed two adults, a teenager and a 4-year-old.
Most everything was what I’ve come to expect from P&V—delicious! The exception was the chicken satays, which were really tough and overdone, although I loved the sauces that came with them. Every one of their salads is great, especially the dressing. The beef and broccoli maintained the nice green color of the veggies. Ahhh, then there was the curry noodles. I’m not kidding when I say with every bite, I had to remind myself what was in the dish because I kept tasting something different. The pumpkin—yes, pumpkin!—added an unexpected sweetness.
For its meat-friendliness, I’m giving P&V Cafe a hefty 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. As I said, most of the dishes come with your choice of tofu, chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, fish, calamari, scallops or a seafood mix. If there’s a type of protein you like that can’t be found here, you’re probably a vegan or vegetarian! I stopped short of a 10 because of all the seafood selections, which is not what usually comes to mind when you think meat.
Their real expertise is in making meat dishes that don’t sit heavy in your stomach. They definitely have a lightness to them, so whether you’re a fan of meat or not, I think anyone can find a dish at P&V Cafe that will appeal to you.