I has been a while since we last discussed Pho.
Perfect weather for this comfort food.
Where is the very best Pho?
At the moment I like pho 88 in Scarborough.
The meat is abundant and tender.
The tendon has "bite" The tripe is finely shredded and right amount of chew.
The broth is rich, but could be richer.
The noodles are abundant,not silky, but not bad.
They do not serve saw, which to me is the "miracle ingredient".
They say that most of their patrons are Chinese and Chinese don't like saw.
Somehow don't think that this is correct.
Recently have been to
Krispy Rolls probably comes in second.
Green Turtle, which seems to be going downhill
Pho Phuong had a very rich stock, nice quality nooodles abundant saw and basil, but meat was scant, poor quality and dry. tendon was sparce and mushy to the extreme.
The richest stock, and pretty good pho is a little place in Parkdale called Thuan Loi 1265 Queen St. W, also serve saw, but I recommend only the Pho and nothing else.
It is not a destination, but far better than the other little places in the westend, including the group around Dufferin and Dundas, which I tried last winter.
Wasn't crazy about Rex Saigon.
Also wasn't overwhelmed by the place on Eglinton at Warden (forgot the name)
Never been to Mimi's
So, where shall we go on the quest for the perfect Pho, and remember WHY?
In scarborough you should try the Vietnam noodle star at 4188 Midland (in the plaza just north of Finch...It's always bustling. Excellent Pho with choice of beef or chicken broth and lots of choices of ingredients (raw beef, tripe, fish ball, etc.)...a large (which I challange anyone to finish) is about $5.75. They have lots of other great items such as BBQ beef on vermicelli and shrimp on sugar for non-pho lovers. Good service and very cheap...though they only take cash (no debit or credit card)
SECOND THIS. this is my go to Pho place in Scarb. the noodles are thick, not wide but thick, and it makes all the difference. the stock is flavorful, the meat is in good portions, and their other dishes are good as well. this place is always busy, they have tables and boothes. the service is lacking in the english dept but are efficient and quick.
Just went there today - it's actually at 4188 Finch, not 4188 Midland. Not bad but not the best. I found the noodles too soft. The broth was lacking the star anise and other flavours. Their red bean / mung bean shake was bad - a few beans and the rest was watered down coconut milk.
If you're in Ottawa, Pho Ba Ga is smooth, spicy, tangy, delish and plenty plenty of noodles and tripe...yummmm.
I'd be interested in hearing about more Pho places in downtown Toronto and west end also!
I like choo-choo-train Pho (Xe Lua?) on Spadina - they have an awesome chicken/goat curry pho and really good combination platters.
I have had good success with the pho at Pho Dau Bo, at both the Finch Ave. W and Mississauga locations. Both places serve it with saw, which I feel is integral to the broth. I find that the broth at both places to be bit better latter in the day, but I guess that is a result of giving the broth more time to simmer. Note that the Finch & Weston Rd. location seems to use a different beef ball that is different than ones I've encountered at all other Pho joints, these balls I like better, they're smaller not as chewy and they're white.
I also enjoy Pho Con Bo, at Jane & Wilson. Their broth is really good, but I find the quality of their meat is not as high as Pho Dau Bo, but a large bowl is also about 50 cents cheaper :)