12.03.2007

Finding Pho

When it's miserably cold and windy outside, I get a hankering for spicy soups. My favorite go-to is pho, the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup. At home, I've been tinkering with a pho recipe from "The New Best Recipe" that takes a shortcut with chicken stock enhanced with star anise, cinnamon, ginger and garlic. It's tasty but not really authentic.

Meanwhile, my friend Brys of Cookthink has inspired me to up the effort ante with an excellent and appetizing blog post on how an experiment with homemade beef broth morphed into pho.

Loyal fans of Five Bites may have noticed how often pho from Pho 75 pops up on people's lists. (It's now a Five Bites All Star.) There are locations scattered all around the area, and Washingtonian says the outposts in Rosslyn, Langley Park and Falls Church are the best.

If you have time to make your own noodle soup, by all means give it a shot. But when you'd rather have your pho fuss-free, where do you go?

18 comments:

Vegameatarian said...

I love Pho but have never tried making it myself. I'll have to look it up in my copy of New Best Recipe, thanks for the suggestion!

Anthony said...

Pho 75 in Rosslyn is simply incredible. Yes the service doesn't come with a smile, but the smiles come with a massive bowl of Pho.

It's also good for breakfast on a cold December morning.

julie said...

It's a bit out of the way for me, but when I get a pho craving I head to Minh's in Clarendon. Quite yum, and with a side of the garden/spring rolls - perfect.

ramona said...

I'm so lucky to have great Pho (as well as Chinese and Thai) close to home. My local spot is Pho King (seriously)in Alexandria. In fact, I have Pho stock in my freezer!

Jen said...

I adore Pho Vinh Loi in Bailey's Crossroads in VA (in the shopping center with Best Buy and Trader Joes). I love their pho. To me, it's much better than Pho 75!

Jason said...

Pho VN One in Beltsville beats Pho 75 any day.

CityGirl said...

I'm loving these recommendations because I have a serious Pho craving right now! I rarely venture into the burbs but will do so for Pho. DC needs good Pho!!!

Amanda said...

Any thoughts on Nam Viet up in Cleveland Park? I had an ok bowl there once...

Smith MBA said...

Pho is the ultimate hangover food. It replenishes your liquids and if you add enough Siracha you will sweat out your misdeeds of the previous evening.

Also the bean sprouts will help you feel less guilty about the rest of the junk you have eaten.

Amanda said...

Squeeze some lime in and you're getting some vitamin C, basil, cilantro are packed with healthy goodnedd ... and salt is key to hangover recovery. Agreed, Smith mba...

Ramona - The Houndstooth Gourmet said...

Salt is definitely key,as is spice, for some reason. My cure is hot and sour soup. It cures what ails you!

Anonymous said...

how does one pronouce "PHO"??

Anonymous said...

I avoid the Nam Viet in Cleveland Park. Not just because I think their Pho is third rate and they don't given you everything you need to complete the dish, but also because of how their waiters were continuously making gangster comments about and to my wife (who is Vietnamese) because she was with a white man (me - her husband). They were making sexual and other comments in Vietnamese and the manager (owner?) didn't care. My wife was afraid to say anything because she said you never know what those type of people will do.

Obviously it's not professional, but their racism appears more important to them than their business, so we flatly refuse to reward them with anymore of our money!

Anonymous said...

OMG - PHO HIEP HUA IN WHEATON, UNIVERSITY BLVD. AWESOME

b-cc said...

It's pronounced somewhere between "phaw" and "phuh" and when it's good it's great. I agree with the negative comment about Nam Viet in Cleveland Park. Went there for a birthday dinner some years back and the service was so atrocious we left without eating. Can't wait to try the one in Wheaton; it's much closer to me than Pho 75, which I love.

DC said...

We've tried most of the places mentioned. Swore by Pho 75 for years until we found Pho VN One. I have yet to find Pho at a non-Pho restaurant that holds it's own against full restaurants.

Pho VN One is it for us. More complex and deeper flavors than Pho 75. Also good on the same street is Pho 88, but we have not been back there since Pho VN One.

J&T dcfoodblog

Anonymous said...

One of the issues with Pho is finding a place that has a vegetarian version (vegetable stock). So far, only the Pho place in Beltsville, MD is the only one I have found with a veggie option.

CityGirl said...

Went to Pho 75 in Rosslyn today and while the Pho was good, all I have to say is YUCK!!! I was sitting in front of some of the kitchen staff and one of them was picking his nose. He saw me looking right at him and didn't stop. I tried to take a picture of him but it didn't come out very clear. Needless to say, I left in disgust with half a bowl left.