Algonquin College Food Services, with help from Designed Food Systems Inc., have developed a concept focused around the traditional Asian noodle shop and, today at 11 a.m., that restaurant opens for the first time. Phogo’s, located in the new Robert C. Gillett Student Commons Building, will serve healthy, fast, “street food”, offering students and staff access to a hearty low-cost meal in a fast, casual environment.
“Asian noodle shops are popping up everywhere, and we hope having one on campus will prove to be a hit,” explains Brent Brownlee, General Manager, Food Services. “Phogo’s aims to be an authentic Pho restaurant using fresh ingredients while also providing a great value for students.”
Customers order their meals at the service counter and watch as the hot noodles are assembled and finished in minutes. Complementary sides are also on the menu, as are a variety of unique Asian beverages including bubble tea. The menu is primarily comprised of specialty noodle dishes, with multiple varieties of noodles to choose from including udon, rice, egg, and soba.
Noodles are the basis of all entrees and soups. A series of pan-Asian sauces are available to dress the noodles, and you can also add chicken breast, beef sirloin, seared shrimp, or tofu added for an additional fee. Similarly, a selection of three stock options including vegetable, poultry, and beef with a variety of condiment ingredient options complete the soup offerings.
Most of the food at Phogo’s is served in recyclable/compostable containers, with wooden chop sticks. Disposable forks are also available on request. Brent says, “If there’s a sustainable alternative they can use for their packaging, my staff always seek those options out first.”
Food Services is readying for hundreds of students to come through Phogo’s each day. To keep up with demand, Brent has hired several staff members and will have up to five people behind the counter at Phogo’s during peak periods. Staff and students will be able to stop by and quickly pick up lunch, or dinner, anytime between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m five days a week (yes, that includes Fridays!).
With all the great choices at Phogo’s, there is something for everyone! And Brent is encouraging you to contact Food Services with your ideas about what you’d like to see in Phogo’s. “One of the advantages of not having franchise operations on campus is that we can easily change our recipes and processes based on customer feedback. I encourage students to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and comments.” You can also fill out Food Services’ online comment card.