Two years ago something fantastic happened; Norman got (good) pho.
If you don’t know about pho, now would be a good time to check out my previous lectures.
Coriander Cafe on Campus Corner is the brain child of Owner Christopher Lê and Chef Jeremiah Caldwell, and when I am working in the Norman area I now know that I can get reliably good Vietnamese fare.
While I have almost always had good luck with pho in Oklahoma City, it seemed that none of the attempts being made in Norman were working out.
Coriander can be found at the northwest end of the Campus Corner area, at White and Buchanan; unlike most of its raucous neighbors, Coriander is notably calm, a good place to slow down.
The menu here is simple, but well executed.
You start by deciding between five choices; bahn mi sandwich, rice bowl, pho, lettuce wrap, or vermicelli noodle salad. Then select from nine or so meats (or tofu). Voila, your meal is on its way.
If you are the type of person that desires appetizers, they can help you there as well. Springs rolls, both the cold kind and the fried kind, are always a good bet, as well as their shredded green papaya salad with mango.Two dollars more adds shrimp to that salad, making it a meal in its own right.
They offer several teas and coffees, including large mugs of Ca Phe Sua Da, and even a few domestic beers, if you so choose.
The quality of the food has always been good, probably because of the care they take when selecting their ingredients. Many of their meats are sourced from Artisan’s Pride, right in Norman, and their Tofu is made in Oklahoma City, by Thanh-Son Tofu, so everything is always fresh.
This is one of the few places in the area where you can find both vegetarian and true vegan menu options, clearly stated and without fuss, as well.
Coriander is open every day but Sunday, for both lunch and dinner.
If you are looking for good pho south of the metro, or just want to try something new, I can say with confidence that you will have a good meal, timely service, friendly staff, a casual atmosphere, and pho(od) that can’t be beat.
I don’t like to be negative when I am writing about food. If it’s bad, I just won’t write about it. I will, however, say that although there are currently two places to eat Vietnamese on Campus Corner, I only eat at one of them.
If you disagree, let me know why. I always like to hear people’s thoughts on food.
Find out more at Coriander Cafe’s Website.