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matt770

Pho Soup

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My wife's family is crazy for pho, it's been a tradition with them for many years. For those of you unaware, it's a noodle soup served in Vietnamese restaurants. There is a decent number of these places around, especially around your larger cities. If you're not looking, you might never notice one.

 

For the longest time, I resisted. I heard Vietnamese and immediately assumed all the food would taste weird and be of questionable origin. Finally last year I relented, we went to a place nearby and I had a big bowl of steak and brisket pho. Freaking delicious. Now we have to go at least once a week, sometimes twice. I swear they must put some kind of drug in this soup, I'm completely addicted. When we're out of town we hunt these places down and have had some quality bowls in NJ, PA, VA and DC. They have all been good but Pho Eden in Cherry Hill, NJ has been the best so far. We stopped there last Friday night and there was actually a wait to get in.

 

Basically they start with a special recipe beef broth that is really rich and flavorful and add a nice heaping portion of homemade rice noodles, and on top, meat of your choice, sliced onions and fresh herbs. I've only gotten steak and/or brisket. They slice it very thin and it's rare when they add it but the hot broth cooks it. It's tender as can be, and delicious. If you're more adventurous you can try tripe, tendon, fatty flank, meatballs, etc.

 

They will bring a big plate of bean sprouts, basil, limes and jalapenos to add to it. These all add more layers of flavor to the broth and make it taste even better.

 

If you've been hesitant to try Vietnamese like I was, trust me, give it a shot. Also try their spring rolls, they are delicious too. My wife and I keep saying we are going to try other stuff on the menu but we are too addicted to pho to pass it up when we're there. Supposedly Vietnamese hoagies are really different and good. Maybe some day.

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At work we go to a local Vietnamese place. I have not yet had the balls to try the Pho as I am always afraid it is the strange parts of the animal that only montster would eat. I usually get a beef dish that is cooked with bell pepeer and onions, served with rice. Agree that the egg rolls are good.... do you wrap them in lettuce when you have yours? Adds a nice contrast in texture and temperature.

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At work we go to a local Vietnamese place. I have not yet had the balls to try the Pho as I am always afraid it is the strange parts of the animal that only montster would eat. I usually get a beef dish that is cooked with bell pepeer and onions, served with rice. Agree that the egg rolls are good.... do you wrap them in lettuce when you have yours? Adds a nice contrast in texture and temperature.

 

The spring rolls at our regular place don't come with lettuce, they serve them piping hot from the fryer with a sweet and tangy sauce. They do have another roll wrapped in lettuce and you can see the whole shrimp inside.

 

Another awesome thing they make is fruit smoothies, about 20 different flavors. I skip the tapioca pearls.

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I've only tried this cuisine once, and it was good. The Thai spring rolls are also very good, unlike the typical chinese offerings. Egg rolls are not for me. For thast matter, when it comes to a lot of chinese dishes, I am left asking "Where's the meat?" or anything that can stand up to a hugh wonton that is all dough and not much of anything else. I'll have to check this out some more matt.

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food epiphanies are pretty cool. my last one wasn't anything uncommon...just blew me away. it was fresh mozz served warm in a great olive oil (just pulled). sometimes it is just a simple flavor or ingredient. bc..... dive in. plenty of "safe" food available.

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The spring rolls at our regular place don't come with lettuce, they serve them piping hot from the fryer with a sweet and tangy sauce. They do have another roll wrapped in lettuce and you can see the whole shrimp inside.

 

Another awesome thing they make is fruit smoothies, about 20 different flavors. I skip the tapioca pearls.

 

That's how they are here, just served with a lettuce garnish that we roll them in before dipping in the sauce. Adds a definite something to them.

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Pho (fuh) is the ultimate hangover food. my local place will serve with out the tripe for those who are scared.

 

It's like the chicken noodle of Vietnam.

 

ETA: I know, cause i'm one of the scared ones.

Edited by KnightsOfKnee

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At work we go to a local Vietnamese place. I have not yet had the balls to try the Pho as I am always afraid it is the strange parts of the animal that only montster would eat. I usually get a beef dish that is cooked with bell pepeer and onions, served with rice. Agree that the egg rolls are good.... do you wrap them in lettuce when you have yours? Adds a nice contrast in texture and temperature.

 

:wacko:

 

Don't worry, only the older, weaker dogs are cooked.

 

My relatives can cook awesome Vietnamese food. The spring rolls, cha gio, are particularly good. Unfortunately, I never got a taste for the rest of it.

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My relatives can cook awesome Vietnamese food. The spring rolls, cha gio, are particularly good. Unfortunately, I never got a taste for the rest of it.

Dude, that's comparable to an italian that hates pasta. :wacko:

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Dude, that's comparable to an italian that hates pasta. :wacko:

 

I wouldn't know, I'm not Italian.

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Pho, cha gio, and gui coun (the fresh salad rolls) are all amazingly delicious.

 

As for those among you who are timid, every pho shop serves tons of variations on what meats get put into the soup and all spell it out very clearly. You can get one that has nothing be rare eye of round (which really isn't even rare once it sits in the broth for a bit) and/or well done brisket. You absolutely do not need to get into the tendon or tripe, or anything else.

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Pho, cha gio, and gui coun (the fresh salad rolls) are all amazingly delicious.

 

As for those among you who are timid, every pho shop serves tons of variations on what meats get put into the soup and all spell it out very clearly. You can get one that has nothing be rare eye of round (which really isn't even rare once it sits in the broth for a bit) and/or well done brisket. You absolutely do not need to get into the tendon or tripe, or anything else.

 

You don't have to get/eat the tendon or tripe, but it definitely adds to the flavor of the soup. Just like making turkey soup, or red beans and rice for that matter, the "parts" are what truly give the dish a knock-out flavor.

Just sayin'

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You don't have to get/eat the tendon or tripe, but it definitely adds to the flavor of the soup. Just like making turkey soup, or red beans and rice for that matter, the "parts" are what truly give the dish a knock-out flavor.

Just sayin'

Fair enough and I actually get the works every time anyway. However, keep in mind that these places have a batch of broth and they're just adding whatever you want to order. So, I'd wager to guess that you're not gleaning a ton of residual flavor from them since they're not really cooking in there.

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Fair enough and I actually get the works every time anyway. However, keep in mind that these places have a batch of broth and they're just adding whatever you want to order. So, I'd wager to guess that you're not gleaning a ton of residual flavor from them since they're not really cooking in there.

 

The places here put all of the stuff in a bowl, then add boiling water and it sits in the center of the table and cooks while you eat your spring rolls. I presumed all places did that.

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The places here put all of the stuff in a bowl, then add boiling water and it sits in the center of the table and cooks while you eat your spring rolls. I presumed all places did that.

Interesting. Never been to a place that did that. Every place I've been to, you order and a bowl of soup appears within minutes with whatever combination of "parts" you asked for.

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Interesting. Never been to a place that did that. Every place I've been to, you order and a bowl of soup appears within minutes with whatever combination of "parts" you asked for.

 

Pho is served family-style here. Having traveled in eastern Asia quite a bit, almost all meals are served family style. There is a hugh Vietnamese population in Houston, so maybe we get more authentic?

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Pho is served family-style here. Having traveled in eastern Asia quite a bit, almost all meals are served family style. There is a hugh Vietnamese population in Houston, so maybe we get more authentic?

Possibly, but so is San Jose, CA which is where I had most of the Pho I've been served.

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A big :wacko: for Pho Grand in Chinatown, NYC. Highly recommended if you're in the city and looking for a good cheap hot bowl of soup. It's freaking frigid in the city these days, makes the pho even more satisfying.

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I guess I am going to give the local Pho Kim a try. I always laugh at the name and say f u c kim.

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