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Starters: Grilled pork chop, kimchi pho at Pho Kim Chi

With the opening of Pho Kim Chi Feb. 7, Lackawanna now has its own full-fledged Vietnamese restaurant.

Formerly Daisies Cafe, the spacious rooms at 2711 South Park Ave. can seat more than 100, said owner William Mai.

Mai is an experienced restaurateur, who last opened Pho Dollar, a Vietnamese restaurant on West Ferry Street, before selling it last year.

His restaurant doesn't sell alcohol yet, but he's applied for a beer a wine license, he said.

Banh mi sandwich with grilled pork at Pho Kim Chi. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

The menu is standard Vietnamese with a few unusual dishes. There's grilled meat and seafood, stir-fried dishes ($9.95-$12.95), and an assortment of rice plates, topped with proteins like grilled pork chops, grilled chicken or shrimp ($9.95-$13.95).

Customers can add a crispy-edged, caramelized grilled pork chop for $4.95, a move I recommend if you're not eating alone, because it will make up for other people at your table mooching yours.

Beef noodle soup with Korean fermented cabbage - pho kim chi - at Pho Kim Chi. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Another strength is soups ($9.95-$12.95). There's pho, the characteristic beef noodle soup, and a seldom-seen crossover variant, pho kim chi, which incorporates Korean-style fermented cabbage. It's a slightly spicy-sweet variant that adds pickle tank to an assemblage of rice noodles, thinly sliced beef and chewy beef meatballs.

All soups come with a plate of fresh bean sprouts, herbs, sliced fresh jalapenos and lime wedges, to doctor up the soup to taste.

Banh mi, Vietnamese sandwiches on crunchy submarine rolls ($4.95-$5.95), come with varieties of pork, chicken and beef, with cilantro and pickled vegetables. Fried rice, salads and more are also available.

There's lots of room for customers at Pho Kim Chi. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

An extensive vegetarian section includes crispy fried tofu rolls ($4.95), a tofu banh mi ($4.95), and stir-fried tofu with vegetables in lemongrass sauce ($10.95).

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday through Saturday; Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed Tuesday. Phone: 322-5173.

A former family restaurant in downtown Lackawanna is now Pho Kim Chi. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

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