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Nov 3, 2006 08:10 PM

Vegetarian Pho in Philadelphia

Does it exist, and is it any good?


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  1. They the vegetarian pho at Pho Xe Lua at 9th and race. It is outstanding.

    1. I hate to bust anyone bubble. But being Vietnamese myself, I do wonder if they make the broth vegetarian.

      1 Reply
      1. re: stjamesb1

        i wonder this myself, too - but it hasn't stopped me from ordering it. i've had it maybe 4 - 5 times and it's never upset my stomach, so i'd like to hope its vegetarian! it tastes a whole lot like my vegetable stock that i make at home, too, though that might be a little wishful thinking in action. next time i am in there, i will try to ask. at like $5, you can't go wrong. and make sure to get that coconut drink!

      2. what makes pho pho, I thought, was the endless skimming of the simmering broth producing a super-clear, near grease-free broth (note the lack of oily slick the next time you get a bowl, though i find that this can't really be avoided on the beefier pho's).

        if i had to guess, i'd say veggie pho was just a ginger broth? maybe mushroom?

        1. joyprivate,
          That's why I expressed doubt that vegetarian pho really exist. Specifically, I doubt that a big pho place actually make vegetarian stock seperate from the beef stock. Just so you know, even chicken pho is still mostly beef stock with chicken meat on top.

          1. Regardless of how traditional it may be, I have found two place that serve veggie pho. The first is Vientiane at 47th and Baltimore. I haven’t had it there yet – when I go there I can’t help but have the yellow or red curry. The other place that I know will serve pho in a veg broth is Ong’s at 11th and Race. Eating there yesterday, I found the pho clean, reasonably spiced, and well stocked with all the proper pho trimmings, save the meat of course; it was good, though, admittedly, the broth was not as rich as the non-veg pho broths I’ve had.

            Turns out vegetarians can join the pho craze as well.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Fatty Lumpkin

              Vientiane ? I supposed that is Laos's ? and it has red or yellow curry? You are right, doesn't sound very traditional. I will think I will pass on that one.

              Although, I will have to try Ong's to see.
              But if one has to stay vegetarians that some Pho is better than nothing. I am supposed to be vegetarian on doctor's order so this is good news indeed.

              1. re: Fatty Lumpkin

                I've had Vientiane's pho and they also have another noodle soup. I like them when I've got a cold, but they don't have a whole lot of flavor, so I don't get them when I'm well. That said, I'm a huge fan of their other veggie soups and everything else(!) - it is a reliably yummy destination for vegetarians.