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Pho Thom, Thai-Owned with Pho on Route 1 and Hartwick Road in College Park

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When I was a student at UMCP mumble years ago, Route 1 in College Park was a wasteland of bad pizza, worse Chinese takeout, and sticky-floor bars. Applebees and IHOP actually raised the bar when they opened, or at least that is what we thought at the time. I've avoided that strip of Rt 1 since I returned to the area a few years ago, preferring the plethora of options further north in Beltsville.

Somehow ended up at Pho Thom for dinner earlier this summer, directly across Rt 1 from the CVS shopping center and neighbor to Ovo Simply Veggie. The space is fairly small - a few 2 and 4 tops near the front door, then a line of benches along the wall heading to the back, with a single row of tables fit into the narrow space. The decor is probably more upscale than the median for CP, although there is a largish tv mounted at the front of the restaurant. Service was basic but attentive.

The menu includes pho, but aside from that appears to be primarily thai. I haven't tried the pho (which I can get in Beltsville easily enough), but I did try some of the thai options. On my first visit, I had the Yum Squid spicy salad, which was better than I expected - the squid was tender, and the dish was spicy (I asked for extra spice) and had clear, well-balanced flavors. I had a small taste of my friend's Pad Kee Mao - it seemed pretty decent, not as good as Nava Thai but in the upper 25% on my personal pad kee mao ranking scale. Had pad prik on my second visit - personally would have ditched the bell peppers, but it was otherwise good enough.

If I want thai without driving all the way to Wheaton, or when stuck in CP for some reason, this may become a go-to.

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