Location: 111 S. River Road, West Lafayette, IN (map it)
Phone: (765) 743-2288
I want to clear something up before I start this review. And that is that I have very little experience eating Vietnamese food. I realize this is a moral failing on my part, but I want it understood as this review is being read that I have no real comparison to how good this food is in relation to other Vietnamese food. I can only review it on how it tastes to me as food.
So with that cleared up, I got a text this morning from a friend asking if I wanted to go out to lunch. I said yes and responded that I really wanted to go to Green Leaf. I have heard many good things, and was even asked recently if I’d been there or reviewed it, so I knew my time had come.
Green Leaf is located in the strip mall near the Levee – near where Bombay Indian is and where Fuzzy’s used to be. Parking is kind of a pain, depending on which direction you are coming from, but once you get in, there’s a nice covered garage. The restaurant itself is very nice. It’s very open, bright and cheery, but also very clean. It’s mainly one large room with tables and chairs. The atmosphere is really casual.
Upon entering, we were told to just sit anywhere. We found a place and were immediately served water and given menus. Now, having never been to a Vietnamese restaurant before, I did a little research and learned that the Pho (pronounced like fuh) is really the thing to get for first timers. Pho is a noodle soup. It’s basically a soup served with beef or chicken, rice noodles, bean sprouts, cilantro, green onion, and broth. I chose chicken (pho ga) and my friend choose beef (pho tai nam). I also ordered an appetizer of cha gio – which are egg rolls.
I thought the food was great. First we were delivered a little dish with bean sprouts, lime, cilantro, and jalapenos. Then came our bowls of soup. It was served with a soup spoon and chop sticks. You use the chop sticks to drop the desired amount of sprouts/cilantro etc into your soup, and then you use the chop sticks combined with the spoon to eat the Pho.
The service was great too. The server was really friendly and not overbearing. After a while, the place got really crowded, and it seems that it’s a popular spot for lunch in West Lafayette. I’d really recommend it and I’d go again.
Kid Friendly: Yes – but you won’t find typical kid food or a kids’ menu.