Anthony Bourdain: Search for Pho in Vietnam – Food Porn
It is an age-old remedy passed down from generation to generation: a nice large steaming bowl of pho after a night out to cure a cursed condition: “the hangover”. Its common wisdom that the soup – simmered over hours with ox tail, Saigon cinnamon, star anise, charred ginger, charred onions and garlic cloves – is a elixir to make those alcohol-induced headaches go away with each slurp of the rice noodles. Its a tender dish, it sooths and washes out all the bad demons of the previous night with every spoonful.
I don’t know why we keep coming back to Pho 88, located on the left side of Mills Ave just north of Colonial Drive; there are plenty of other Vietnamese restaurants to pick and choose from out there in the Mills 50 District to satisfy our pho fix.
Maybe its the big open spaces in their dining room that gives us room to breathe and slurp freely as we scour our bowls (offered in regular, large, or xe lua – super sized- size).
It isn’t the service, as most Vietnamese places aren’t known for the greatest friendliest service and the waiters at Pho 88 are no different, each of them no-nonsense, straight to the point types.
What we enjoy at Pho 88 is the low prices (seriously where else can you get such a huge meal for $7.50? ) the quality (Pho is the namesake of the place, and you better make it good) and the lightning speed of the food delivery to the table (literally less than 5 minutes from order time).
Pho at Pho 88 is a cut above the rest. Their noodles are slender and tasty, their broth is layered with flavors from the spices and beef that have been simmering for hours, and the meats are pretty good. In Vietnam, you take a small sauce tray and put hoisin and chili sauce in it and then dip your meats in the sauces to taste. Their pho, although still no match for my mother’s, is a close contender.
For appetizers, on this occasion, we chose the cha gio or vietnamese fried spring rolls. I like to wrap my spring rolls in lettuce before dipping it into the fish sauce, providing it a soft texture to contrast with the crunchy crisp of the egg roll shells.
In addition to Pho at Pho 88, they serve delicious Vietnamese subs known as banh mi. It tastes really good and I recommend it here if you are extra hungry. In the phillipines, they are known to dip the french breads into pho to soften it before chowing down on the delectable banh mi. They have a wide range of offerings too from meat balls to eggs to the traditional dac biet with all the special deli meats.
If you’re not in the mood for pho or banh mi, try some of their delicious rice plates with pork chops and egg, or other noodle soup specialties.
Tasty Chomps Rating
4.5 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!!