You can tell a lot about a restaurant by some simple signs...are there lineups, are the tables clean, do the staff look you in the eye, etc. But for me, the kicker at Joyeaux Cafe (yes, the owner knows it is spelled wrong, but she believes it has brought her good luck and fortune, so there are no plans to spell-check) was their assortment of condiments.
Because they have an English breakfast clientele, the squeezy ketchup bottle is needed for those who like their eggs topped with ketchup, or those that like to have fries with their grilled cheese. But at lunch time, most of the orders are Vietnamese based, and for that, you need the squeezy bottle of hot sauce (similar to Sriracha) and HoiSin sauce...a commonly used sweet and thick Asian condiment.
I usually get their Special Soup, which is what you see above. It's about $8, so a little pricey for pho, but what do you expect...they are paying downtown Vancouver rent. The broth is amazing...hot and flavourful when it arrives, though I do doctor it with tons of chili sauce after the first few spoonfuls. The assortment of meat and meatballs that you get is plenty too. Their noodles are made to order, so there is a bit of a wait sometimes, but the reward is a bowl of noodles that are never overcooked or stuck together.
I'll definitely be returning to sample their other Vietnamese dishes, such as they Dry Noodles, as well as their Spicy Beef and Pork thick vermicelli...stay tuned for further updates as I sample more of their dishes. Tell me your favourites too and I'll put them on my To-Eat list. Maybe someday, I'll een try their Breakfast Specials...