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Pho

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I has been a while since we last discussed Pho.
Perfect weather for this comfort food.
Where is the very best Pho?
Why?
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?

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  1. 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)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Finnegan

      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.

      1. re: Finnegan

        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.

      2. 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!

        1. I like choo-choo-train Pho (Xe Lua?) on Spadina - they have an awesome chicken/goat curry pho and really good combination platters.

          1. I've been getting mine at Pho Saigon in Newmarket.

            DT

            1. 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 :)

              1. White beef balls? Sure it's not fish or maybe pork?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Finnegan

                  They're definitely not fish balls, they could be some amalgamation of meats, but they are on the menu as beef balls. I assume they might be homemade as they aren't a uniform size.

                2. I really like the pho served at Pho Mi Asia, on Wilson just east of Keele. It's very flavourful, and I particularly love the rice noodle and egg noodle seafood soup served there. Their grilled meats are quite good, too.

                  The restaurant is very clean and bright.

                  1. Try Mimi, and, just east of there a few doors , is PHO BO TAY, seriously worth investigating- closed Tuesdays.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Wiley

                      Oh please, who doesn't use MSG, they don't even have to be all that good.
                      VVM

                    2. What is Saw? I've had pho plenty of times and never heard of it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JaPe

                        I believe it's called "saw-tooth herb" in English. The Vietnamese name is "ngo gai".

                      2. It is a herb with a slight saw like rib at the edges.
                        It is very similar to coriander, but with a "cleaner fresher bite".
                        In my opinion,there is also a slight hint of lemon and basil in the makeup of this herb.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: erly

                          Oh ok I never knew what that was ... good stuff.

                        2. Xe Lua in Woodside square (McCowan & Finch) is very good. I usually have the beef flank w/ a little bit of fat attached and omasum. I find their broth richer than any others I've tried.

                          Since we're talking about pho, how do you guys eat yours? Do you just throw all the condiments in and start chowing down? I myself can't eat it that way as I love to savour the rich broth as much as I can. First I take one of the soup spoons, squirt equal amounts of hoisin and sriracha into it and set it aside. When the pho comes I stick my face over the steam and inhale deeply to absorb the rich aroma. The only condiment I put in the pho are the basil leaves and small green chile pepper broken in two, I think adding the beansprouts and lemon takes away from the richness of the broth and makes it watery. I taste the broth first, then slurp down a few noodles. Second, I take a slice of beef in the spoon, add one of the onion pieces floating around and some of the hoisin/sriracha mixture on top, pop it into my mouth and enjoy. This is done in this order until only the broth is left at which point I grab the bowl and down the rest.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: squingy

                            I put the hoisin in a side bowl with a squirt of hot sauce, then add the sprouts and basil to the soup (i like the sprouts b/c I feel like I'm getting my veggies for the day), and then... wait for it... I pick up the spoon, slink some noodles into the spoon with my chopticks, dunk the spoon in the bowl to get some broth, let that cool while my chopsticks pick out a slice of rare beef, which I dunk lightly in the hoisin mixture, eat that, and THEN slurp the noodles and broth down from the spoon after it has cooled.
                            By the way for those who love hot sauce try the home-made stuff from Hanoi Three Seasons alongside your soup. My s.o. is a hot sauce freak and loves their stuff.
                            Fave dish? I love their cha ca lavong dish as a soup with the fish served on the side instead of just having the fish on rice noodles.

                            1. re: alichow

                              Alichow, I have not ever managed to get beyond the cha ca la vong at Hanoi 3 Seasons. I don't live in Toronto, so I only get there every so often, but I can't seem to pull myself away from that grouper. It's soooo good.

                              1. re: 1sweetpea

                                same here - before they had that on the menu I was stuck on the bun bo hue without the blood thing in it, and now the fish is all I order!

                              2. re: alichow

                                After adding sprouts and fresh chillies , I let the broth slightly heat/soften them, wait 30 seconds+ then add basil and saw, wait again, then add lime. Hoisin/Hot Sauce never hits the soup bowl, it is always a side to dip into!

                            2. my favorite place is up at st.clair called sprout.

                              the rare beef with sauté sacue is killer.

                              1. Recently had Pho at Pho 88 on Gerrard East - been going there for years and was pleased to find the broth completely grease free this time. The shrimp on sugarcane was diabolical though.... anybody have an opinion on where it's best (aside from at Lalot whaere it is wonderful)?

                                1. I was at a pho place and saw a patron take the hoisin sauce and chili sauce and make a yin yang symbol in the soup...of course I always add lots of fish sauce, basil and sprouts.

                                  31 Replies
                                  1. re: Finnegan

                                    I always think that the broth should be flavorful and unctuous enough to stand on its own, without the addition of other sauces. I often see people douse their bowls of pho with hoisin, fish sauce, or chili sauce, before even tasting the soup. This perplexes me, and, if I were the chef who had labored over the broth, it would greatly irritate me. Of course, if the broth is weak and in need of a boost, by all means, douse away! Truth be told, most pho broths in Toronto would be improved with a little kick.

                                    1. re: redearth

                                      I always taste the broth before adding anything. Too often, the broth is either watery or really greasy, but not that flavourful. I have to confess that I've made a murkey bog out of my Pho broth with Hoisin and Sriracha, but I'd rather not add them to the bowl at all. I'd be in seventh heaven if I could find a bowl that was redolent with anise, ginger, cinnamon and maybe even a hint of cardamom. If I ever find a broth like that, I'll leave the hoisin and sriracha in the little side dipping dish, where they belong.

                                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                                        I wholeheartedly agree! Too many pho broths are just as you describe: watery and/or greasy... One of my favorite pho broths was from a place on Pacific Ave., near Keele, in the Junction area, but I don't think that they're in business any longer. Their broth was so thick with the gelatin of many bones that it solidified when refrigerated. Now that's a serious broth! I think the place was called Pho Mi Try Ky.

                                        1. re: redearth

                                          My 4 favourite broths in the city, in order of strength.....

                                          Pho Pasteur - Tien Thanh - Pho My Duyen - Que Ling

                                          That's not the order of my favourite, but just an indication of strength.

                                          Places that offer a saucer dish w/o prompting gets extra marks from me. I never add anything into my broth, strictly used as a dipping sauce for the meats.

                                          1. re: aser

                                            I do exactly the same thing. I almost made it into Pasteur today, but opted instead for Chinese Traditional Buns, which was delicious, but a little over-salted. I'm definitely going to give Pasteur a shot soon, though, as I have read many favorable reviews on these boards...

                                            1. re: redearth

                                              As mentioned in other threads, great broth. Their meat quality could be improved upon.

                                              They provide a saucer dish btw.

                                              1. re: aser

                                                i'm not sure i can agree with you on pho pasteur. i found it really really greasy and more salty than anything thing else. it did at least have a thickness to it that a lot of others are lacking but the flavour seemed rather undeveloped.

                                                the meats were ok for the most part but the rare beef smelled and tasted like wet rag! i get the feeling they're not wiping down their cutting implements with fresh towels.

                                                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                                  that's disgusting! I hate when that happens - that, or beef that tastes like it's been sitting out in the open for too long.

                                                  1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                                    Pasteur is my favorite...of the Spadina strip. It can be inconsistent, though - sometimes the broth is too salty (although I can't say I've ever found it greasy), and the last time I was there (last week) the rare beef wasn't...right. Could be the dishrag factor you mention - it wasn't spoiled, but just didn't taste or look quite right. But as a general rule, I prefer it to Pho Hung or Xue Lua, and the waitress knows me well enough to bring me saw, even if I am a white girl.

                                                    The best bowl of pho I've had recently was from Krispy Roll, but they're also inconsistent - the previous time I went there had been disappointing. But this time the broth was really delicious - meaty, lean, and aromatic, and required very little doctoring at the table. Seriously Good Stuff.

                                                    1. re: Wahooty

                                                      I had Krispy Roll's lamb stew pho yesterday and it was amazing. The broth was rich and complex with just enough heat to keep it interesting and the chunks of lamb were falling apart tender. The only doctoring I did was to toss in bean sprouts. Otherwise I liked it too much as is to risk adding anything.

                                                  2. re: aser

                                                    Aser, have you tried Pho Mi Asia, on the south side of Dundas, just west of Dixie? I've tried their Bun Bo Hue in the past and have really liked it, but I tried their house special Pho for the first time, and I was really impressed! Rich broth with beautifully balanced seasonings of star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon; a huge amount of meat, including perfectly "chewy" tendon, tripe, brisket, and loads of rare beef; perfectly soft yet "al dente" noodles; sadly only one beef ball, but that really didn't detract from my enjoyment of this almost perfect bowl of Pho. Try it, and tell me what you think!

                                                    1. re: redearth

                                                      I may have to retract my glowing recommendation of the pho at Pho Mi Asia... After that exemplary bowl of soup, I just had to go back today to have another. Well, it was a decent bowl of pho, but it was very far from the revelation that was the soup I had the other day. The broth was not as robust, it lacked the flavor of spices that the previous broth had in spades, and it was too salty. The amount of noodles far outweighed the amount of meat (unlike the other day, when there was more meat than I had ever seen in a bowl of pho), and the temperature of the broth was simply not as hot as it should have been. I'll go one more time, soon, and then I'll be able to reach a final verdict on Pho Mi Asia. Too bad. For a moment there, I thought I had found "the one". The search continues.

                                                      1. re: redearth

                                                        I have had really good broth at the other Pho Mi Asia location. Good meaty flavour and nicely spiced, with side accompaniments.
                                                        Squid dish in a brown sauce was good too, and service prompt. The pho had perhaps too many heavy wheat noodles, and I'd ask for something lighter in noodles next time.

                                                        -----
                                                        Pho Mi Asia
                                                        1008 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3K1G6, CA

                                                        1. re: redearth

                                                          Well, I've been back to Pho Mi Asia since my last posting, and my final verdict is: it's the best place for pho that I've tried, but minor inconsistencies result in it being just shy of perfect. Very, very good, though. Far better than Pho Pasteur, which has been well recommended on this board. These recommendations led me to try it for the first time last week, and I was seriously disappointed. First off, the price for a small bowl of pho was $6.99!!! WTF!! I had never seen such expensive pho before. I thought, well, at that price, it's got to be great!! ... It wasn't ... First, they brought me my plate of sprouts. Sprouts, saw, lime: good. But where was the thai basil, I enquired? We're all out, was the reply. Okay, you're in the heart of Chinatown - when you know you're about to run out of thai basil, wouldn't you just run around the corner and grab a few bunches from the nearest grocery store? The basil is essential to a good bowl of pho for me, so I'm already sulking a little bit when they bring me what was merely a mediocre bowl of pho. Salty, medium-rich broth, reasonably well cooked noodles, good amount of brisket, decent sized piece of tendon, okay rare beef. Everything was pretty much as it should be, but there was absolutely nothing extraordinary about it. I ate it, paid my almost EIGHT DOLLARS for my SMALL BOWL of pho, and left, vowing that Pho Mi Asia, with its far superior bowl of pho, priced at FIVE DOLLARS, would be getting my business from now on. I have tried many pho places in the last few weeks (Bun Saigon, Pho Pasteur, Pho Mi Asia, Pho Mi 99, and Pho Dau Bo), and Pho Mi Asia at Dixie and Dundas is most definitely at the top of the heap. Incidentally, their bun bo hué is also excellent.

                                                          1. re: redearth

                                                            redearth, just for a little context, the other places in Chinatown tend to charge ~$5.99 for a small. So Pasteur charges an extra dollar, but in my experience, gives you more meat and a better broth. At the other places, I'm usually rationing my one piece of tendon, while Pasteur gives me several. Personally, I think it's worth the extra buck, since I usually end up ordering a large anywhere else in that neighborhood. I have yet to find myself looking for lunch in Mississauga, but if I do, I'll be sure to give Pho Mi Asia a try. You've piqued my curiosity. :)

                                                            1. re: Wahooty

                                                              I've had pho all over this fine city of ours, from Brampton to Scarborough, downtown TO to Markham and Richmond Hill, and, IMHO, Pho Pasteur doesn't even come close to having one of the better bowls of pho out there, particularly at that price. Also, speaking of Chinatown pho places, Bun Saigon has a much better pho, and it's $5.25 for a small.

                                                              1. re: Wahooty

                                                                Pasteur's portions are definitely bigger than the rest of Chinatown. You're getting one size up in comparison. I ordered L once, never again, way too much food.

                                                                Again, pho pasteur's strong point is their broth, it's been very rich and savoury every time I've had it. The caveat again w/ them is their meat (quantity+ quality-), it is their weakness. Not having thai basil is unforgivable though.

                                                                I've had Pho Mi Asia recently because of your recommendation(Wilson location), I'm rarely in sauga nowadays. I thought the broth was a tad week, although the portion is gigantic. I got a L for $6, very cheap compared to places downtown. The meat and side dish toppings were done nicely, except the tripe wasn't cut into manageable pieces. They do have sauce dishes, always a plus for me.

                                                                I really suggest you give Pho My Duyen a try....it is the most well rounded bowl I've had in Toronto.

                                                                -----
                                                                Pho My Duyen
                                                                1208 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H, CA

                                                                1. re: aser

                                                                  Okay, aser, thanks for the tip - I'll try to get there this week.

                                                                  1. re: aser

                                                                    I second pho my duyen. Great pho, though the spicy Hue noodle soup is my favourite thing there...

                                                                    I wasn't so impressed with Pasteur the one time I tried it, and a trip to golden turtle this weekend after a long hiatus failed to impress and reminded me why we stopped going.

                                                                    1. re: Delish

                                                                      same, I've long stopped going to Golden Turtle, especially when Tien Thanh does a far superior bowl down the block.

                                                                      yes the bun bo hue is quite good at my duyen too.

                                                                      1. re: aser

                                                                        Okay, I didn't manage to get to Pho My Duyen in the last couple weeks, but I'm definitely gonna check it out in the next week, and will try both its pho and bun bo hué. I'm excited!

                                                                    2. re: aser

                                                                      I finally tried Pho My Duyen today, and it was very good. I liked the modern, clean decor, the service was excellent, and the food was very good. The Goi Cuon were excellent, with very delicate rice paper wrappers surrounding plump shrimp and delicate rice noodles. These were actually some of the best Goi Cuon I've had in TO - very fresh and delicate. As for the Pho, I ordered the House Special, as it is the standard bowl by which I am judging all Vietnamese pho restaurants by. The broth was very good, with nice star anise flavours and a thick, savoury pork bone richness to it. One of the best pho broths I've had in TO, for sure. The meat, however, I found a little lacking. The beef balls were unusually chewy, the rare beef was no longer rare, there was barely any brisket, and the tendon was more crunch than succulent chew. The noodles were good, however, and the accompaniments included thai basil, saw, and bean sprouts. I found the hoisin to be watery (something I've never experienced before), but otherwise the provided sauces were fine (I had to ask for a small dish for the sauce, however, but the decor of the place doesn't really lend itself well to having those condiment and utensil racks on the tables, so no real complaint there). Overall, I thought the pho was very good, the Goi Cuon was excellent, the service was excellent, and the decor was also excellent. My only real issue with my meal was the amount of MSG in the soup. My face was numb for hours afterwards. Because of this, I don't know if I'll return.
                                                                      To conclude, Pho Mi Asia is still my number one pick for pho.

                                                                      1. re: redearth

                                                                        Glad you tried it out....

                                                                        I still haven't found the perfect balance between broth and meat yet. As you pointed out, the good broth spots I've come across won't serve raw beef, which you can control the cooking by immersing in the soup. Not a lot of places offer that option in this city. I will however sacrifice meat quality over broth and noodles, which are the stars for me. Well I lied, the tripe is a big star in my books too.

                                                                        The dipping sauce for their goi cuon is one of the best in the city. I haven't had an msg reaction like yours there. My level of reaction (if I get one) is restricted to feeling thirsty post meal, perhaps my tolerance is higher.

                                                                        I hopefully will get to the Mississauga version of Pho Mi Asia, but I'm rarely out there. The Keele/Wilson location was decent, but it didn't win me over, I broke it down in a previous post.

                                                                        1. re: aser

                                                                          Yeah, it's worth a visit, if you're in the 'hood. I can't say it's worth a special trip, but it's definitely the best pho that I've tried recently. Maybe you can do a double whammy, and have the excellent bun bo hué from Pho Mi 99 on Dixie, around the corner from Pho Mi Asia... ;)

                                                                          1. re: redearth

                                                                            Well I was on the QEW coming back from hiking on Sunday, figured I make a stop for some pho along Dundas/Dixie since I'm rarely out this way. I've been to Pho Mi Asia (Wilson location), figured I should try Pho Dau Bo instead.

                                                                            Very satisfied w/ what I had, prices as expected are much cheaper than downtown. Large pho dac biet was $6, excellent broth. It wasn't super strong, but had a clear concise flavour with very little msg, one of the best I've encountered (better than Mi Asia @ Wilson for sure). The tendon was lacking mouthfeel, it almost resembled fat as it dissolved very easily once chewed. Noodles could've been firmer, and the broth could've been hotter. The garnishes were not as fresh either, browning spots on the basil and bean sprouts. Rare beef could've been rarer too. Most of these are minor quibbles, they're mistakes that can easily be corrected.

                                                                            So yes, even w/ all these negative points, it still was a great bowl. A good assortment of meat, great bounce to the tripe. Culantro/saw provided with saucer plates and thai chili on the side. I was very impressed with this bowl, and would revisit often if it wasn't so out of the way. Will have to try their Finch/Weston and Markham/Lawrence locations to compare. Sadly those are also rather out of my way.

                                                                            Also ordered banh cuon ($4.75 small) and bun chao tom (sugarcane shrimp $6.25). Nuoc cham was ok, but I found the banh cuon to be too thick. My gf enjoyed her bun chao tom, said it was one of the better ones she's had.

                                                                            My current order of preference....

                                                                            1) Tien Thanh
                                                                            2) Pho My Duyen
                                                                            3) Pho Dau Bo (sauga)
                                                                            4) Que Ling
                                                                            5) Pho Pasteur (late night option)

                                                                            To do list....

                                                                            Pho Con Bo
                                                                            Phuong Hoang

                                                                            Forever unattainable bowl...

                                                                            Vic Hong (E Beaver Creek now defunct) - their newer locations at Major Mack/Bayview and Kennedy/Steeles doesn't compare.

                                                                            1. re: aser

                                                                              I tried Pho My Duyen and it was a great bowl of pho, nice aromatic broth although I did fine the beef a little chewy and not as thin as I like it. Also agree with your preferences Aser though I haven't tried Pho Dau Bo. Tien Thanh comes the closest for me in terms of meat/broth perfection then PMD. Pho Pasteur the meat quality is a little questionable at times.

                                                                              Have you tried Vietnam Noodle Star Aser? I'm heading up there this weekend for a special trip.

                                                                              1. re: deabot

                                                                                Nope, haven't been, do report back.

                                                                                1. re: aser

                                                                                  Went on Saturday with some friends, it's in a strip mall at Finch/Midland same plaza as Full House. Very good pho. Meets all of my requirements for excellent pho. Fresh noodles, good tender beef quality (thinly sliced but didn't shrivel up) and rich star anisey broth with depth. A 4 star pho imo. Better than anything downtown. I still like PTT best downtown but sometimes I think their beef gets too hardened and curled up soaking up in the broth.

                                                                  2. re: redearth

                                                                    I was just about to write off pho as something I'd never like, but I'll give Pho Mi Asia at Dundas and Dixie a try. Last week, I had pho at Pho Mi 99 near Mavis and Burnhamthorpe and found the broth too weak, which reinforced my tendency to give up.

                                                                    1. re: Food Tourist

                                                                      I enjoyed the food at Pho Mi Asia in Mississauga! Broth had good amount of flavour. Also enjoyed two other dishes. Will return!

                                                        2. re: redearth

                                                          Pho Houng is the best Pho,- but also amazing everything else! Try R01, and B16 and even their beef stew is delcious! PHO HUONG is at PACIFIC and DUNDAS WEST in the Junction!!
                                                          http://www.phofever.com/restaurants.p...
                                                          http://jennychef.blogspot.com/

                                                  3. Pho88 (Bamburgh Circle in Scarborough) is my favourite... the #270 spicy always treats me right. Mimi is also a great option closer to home.

                                                    1. I'll second Xe Lua in Woodside square (McCowan & Finch) for great pho...set aside your preconcevied notions about mall food...the broth is very flabvourful and the porions are cheap and enormous...check out the dim sum at Ruby's in the same mall (one of the best in Toronto).

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Finnegan

                                                        Yuck to Xe Lua in Woodside Square. That is like one of the worst places to have pho, aside from it being the most convenient place for me. Their portions are quite small compared to other places, in my opinion. They charge just about the same compared to other places, but so little noodles appear in the bowl. Bun, though, is good.

                                                        The best, in my own personal opinion, is Vietnam Noodle House on Finch just west of Midland. Their broth is strong, meats are SOOOOO fresh (I always go for the rare beef) and noodles al dente. They skimp on the sprouts and limes though, but Ive asked for more before and they'll give it to you afterwards.

                                                      2. Two thumbs up for Xe Lua...I would have said yuck to to a pho restaurant in a mall if I hadn't been taken there by a couple of vietnamese friends (the same one who turned be on to Vietnamese Noodle Star on Midland). Despite the inauspicous setting, this a is a nice clean dfriendly, family run resaurant that serves very good and authentic pho. If you want good asian cuisine (not the deep fried sweet and sour junk found in so many downtown eateries) you should really make the trek to Scarborough and markham

                                                        1. I have never found better pho in Toronto than at Que Ling on Bolton St. It's the closest I've found to the kind you'd find in Vietnam. Their bun bo hue is even better. Only open for lunch.

                                                          1. I think Pho Linh on College just west of Dufferin is still the top spot.

                                                            1. Since posting this two years ago, things have changed.
                                                              I can't really recommend Pho 88 .
                                                              It is O.K.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: erly

                                                                Like, all Pho 88 sucks now... All.

                                                                1. re: erly

                                                                  Hi erly: Has the Pho 88 at Bamburgh gone downhill for you, or have you found much better places. In the area, it still seems to be the best.

                                                                2. Asia 21on King and Dufferin. Great pho . Best bun in town. Cheerful decor for a change.

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                    really did not find this place enjoyable. the spring rolls were cooked with old oil at a low temp and a bit burnt.... so very very greasy. the pho was just ok... again very very mild in flavour and tepid in temperature. the shredded veg was old and browning on the edges. maybe i'm looking for the impossible!

                                                                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                                                      Try the house special pho at Pho Mi Asia - south side of Dundas, west of Dixie...

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Pho Mi Asia
                                                                      1248 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON L4Y2C1, CA

                                                                      1. re: redearth

                                                                        Has anyone found a pho place that's not loaded with MSG?
                                                                        I tried this place Sprouts at St. Clair and Yonge and I have been full for days. haha

                                                                        1. re: Heidibeefood

                                                                          Ummmm.... I tend to have an adverse reaction to MSG as well, but i've never experienced anything after having pho, anywhere. My recommendation: try another restaurant, perhaps one recommended on this board?

                                                                          1. re: Heidibeefood

                                                                            That could be 'coz its greasy too... eek. I can imagine though ..

                                                                          2. re: redearth

                                                                            Two days ago, the pho was amazing. Today, merely decent. I cannot vouch for Pho Mi Asia until I try it one more time... Stand by for my final verdict!

                                                                        2. re: Sui_Mai

                                                                          i second Pho Asia 21. right around the corner from our home and best broth i've had for Pho, however I do agree that the spring rolls aren't always the best. My husband and I prefer the spring rolls from Pho Hung - our old hang out.

                                                                          the only thing about Asia 21 is the decor they really need to reno...

                                                                        3. If in the Mississauga Erin Mills area, try Big Bowl. Lots of flavours in the broth, and in my opinion the best as of now. I wanna try some new stuff recommended here. I find that Big Bowl has a really nice well-rounded bowl of goodness. Meats are good quality, noodles are scrumptiously al dente, and the soup is GOODNESS. Word of caution though - I find that you always need to order the medium size because with the small, there's lots of meat but not enough noodles... And bonus, they have the most cleanest sprouts I have ever seen. Saw and basil and chilis are provided as well, along with a side bowl. :)

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jennjen18

                                                                            where is big bowl?

                                                                            I often go to Pho88 in the Chinese plaza on Dundas between Dixie and Cawthra.... the XL is huge for 7.71 including Tax.

                                                                              1. re: jennjen18

                                                                                Tell me more about Big Bowl - is its decor contemporary and shiny, kind of like many other new vietnamese restaurants, that, I hate to say this, seem to cater to non-asians (of which I am one)? Or is it a more typical vietnamese restaurant, where you might find older vietnamese gents chatting away the hours, taking frequent breaks from their coffees to smoke up a storm just outside the front entrance? For some reason, the name of the restaurant and its location makes me thinks that it's the former... Not that this matters if Pho Big Bowl produces great, authentic vietnamese food. So, I guess my question really is: how's the food? Do they have Bun Bo Hue on the menu? What's in the house special pho?

                                                                                1. re: redearth

                                                                                  I have been to big bowl several times but try to avoid it now if I can - while the pho is quite good - I find the service extremely slow. If you don't mind a long wait they also have good deep fried wontons.

                                                                                  1. re: juliewong

                                                                                    Yes, service can be slow at peak times... like dinner. Yes, it could be slow at times.. but food though, oh-so-yummy. I dont go often, so.. when I do go, its always so consistently good.

                                                                                    No, its the former, redearth. In fact, sometimes I could see more non-Asians than Asians.. But that only says how good the food is, that it goes outside of its own community. My friends say their rice dishes are superb as well as their pho (which I only eat).

                                                                                    1. re: jennjen18

                                                                                      "In fact, sometimes I could see more non-Asians than Asians.. But that only says how good the food is, that it goes outside of its own community. "

                                                                                      With vietnamese restaurants I don't think this logic really pulls through. In my experience the vietnamese restaurants patronized by a lot of non-asians are not really serving very good pho.

                                                                                  2. re: redearth

                                                                                    Oh, and yes to bun bo hue. House special pho has everything in it - raw beef, beef brisket, tripe, beef balls... i think thats about it.

                                                                            1. My suggestions are based on the same dish, as I always get Pho Tai, rare beef pho.

                                                                              The Pho 88 on Gerrard east of Broadview has recently improved as it seems like it was taken over by a younger couple and since then the pho has been pretty decent and the place has cleaned up.
                                                                              Just tried Pho Pasteur on Dundas, east of Spadina and I liked the broth, it wasn't too greasy as other people have reported. Costs more than other places, but seemed to get more noodles.
                                                                              My go-to place in Scarborough is Vietnam Noodle Star at Midland and Finch, although the broth is hit or miss sometimes there.

                                                                              1. I used to like Pho Hung on Bloor west of Avenue Road, but they went downhill in a few ways.

                                                                                My current favourite is Pho Vietnam on Kennedy, north of Lawrence. I read an article not so long ago explaining why their noodles are the real Vietnamese thing, a bit different from the generic Asian noodles usually used. A very good menu of other Vietnamese dishes, as well.

                                                                                1. All Pho I have had tastes like dishwater and noodles except for Krispy Rolls at Warden and Eglington. Nice fresh tasting soup here.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Crispy skin

                                                                                    When I ordered soup at Pho Mi Asia, I was amazed at the size of the bowl, and the depth of flavour in the broth. Service was good and the place was busy. The noodles were thick like linguine, so next time I will ask for fewer noodles, and more broth!

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Pho Mi Asia
                                                                                    1008 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3K1G6, CA

                                                                                    1. re: jayt90

                                                                                      I haven't been to that location, but the one at Dixie and Dundas makes the best pho I've had in the Tdot.

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Pho Mi Asia
                                                                                      1248 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON L4Y2C1, CA

                                                                                      1. re: redearth

                                                                                        I have been to both Pho Mi Asia locations and they are both excellent. Pho Dau Bo is a close second.

                                                                                        1. re: archive

                                                                                          These are busy places with a regular lunch clientele, and no doubt a changing staff over the months. But the reviews remain good, and the broth is strong, and served promptly

                                                                                  2. Hello everyone, longtime lurker first time poster. I have been a fan of Pho and Vietnamese food for around 12 years. This past year, in an effort to eat better while eating out, I have been eating Pho and Vietnamese cuisine regularly. But being out of circulation has left me a bit disappointed with some of my old standbys like Pho Hung, Kim Bo, and Pho 88, so I have been searching around. Including on these forums. ;)
                                                                                    I have been making a tour of Toronto/GTA sampling as many good Pho restaurants as I can. Over the next month or so I hope to visit them all a couple of times. Here is a list of restaurants I have visited or will visit in my (hopefully) comprehensive review:

                                                                                    Chinatown Downtown: Pho Hung, Kim Bo, Pho Pasteur, Pho 88;
                                                                                    Chinatown East: Pho House (formerly Pho House 88), Hanoi 3 Seasons, Xe Lua;
                                                                                    Toronto (other): Pho My Duyen, Rua Vang, Pho Tien Thanh, Pho Vietnam;
                                                                                    GTA: Pho Mi Asia, Pho Dau Bo, Kim Po

                                                                                    My list, though extensive, is far from complete. If you know any other restuarants I should visit, please let me know.

                                                                                    When I eat Pho, here is how I like it:
                                                                                    Regular Size: Pho Tai, Chin Nac (Rare beef, with sliced well done brisket); Nuoc Beo Hanh Tran (cut shallots in hot fatty Pho broth) on the side which I eat with the meat; I first smell and taste the broth and then I like to add Thai Basil (Rau Que), Culantro (Saw Leaf Herb)/(Rau Ngo Gai), and Lime to balance the taste. I will add Bean Sprouts to the stock shortly before eating (sometimes I order blanched Bean Sprouts (Gia Chin) these days). Hoisin and Sriracha I keep in a small sauce bowl and sparingly use them to flavour my meat just before eating. I usually forgo the sauces in favour of biting into the raw Chili Peppers as I eat.

                                                                                    I like a complex stock with good body. I also prefer restaurants that have Culantro and cut shallots (Hanh Tran) available. When I order the Nuoc Beo Hanh Tran, I taste the fatty broth (Nuoc Beo) to sample the Pho stock on "steroids" as well.

                                                                                    I like to order Pork Spring Rolls (Cha Gio) when I go to a new Vietnamese restaurant. I'm trying to find the best Vietnamese Spring Roll too. :)

                                                                                    I hope to post the first set of reviews shortly, I sure am enjoying the research.

                                                                                    21 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: VooX

                                                                                      Don't forget to add Pho Linh (College and Dufferin) to your list. It serves one of the best Phos.

                                                                                      1. re: VooX

                                                                                        Davedigger, thanks I will be sure to check Pho Linh out shortly.

                                                                                        Onto my ongoing "research" into the current crop of Pho restaurants, I've tried to go to each restaurant at least twice, but where I haven't I made note. Pardon the length, I am commenting on a lot of Pho restaurants.

                                                                                        Chinatown Downtown: Pho Hung, Kim Bo, Pho 88;
                                                                                        aka: "Out with the Old"
                                                                                        Pho Hung: was my go-to Pho restaurant while on the Spadina strip or in Yorkville. Over the past couple of years I have been very disappointed in how the quality has slipped at Pho Hung. In fact, being very disappointed on recent visits led me to find new Pho restaurants as a replacement. Sadly, I can no longer recommend this one-time Pho favourite. The Pho lacks depth and complexity: it is a neutered version of its former self.

                                                                                        Kim Bo: although I know this restaurant more for the Bo 7 Mon (7 Courses/Styles of Beef) which is excellent, I used to have good bowls of Pho here. Again, like Pho Hung, their Pho has slipped, and is no longer that tasty. Like Pho Hung it lacks complexity and depth in the broth, with the current version paling in comparison to the Pho from several years ago. The Bo 7 Mon is what this restaurant is famous among the Vietnamese community for, and that is still an excellent meal for two. Kim Bo also has my favourite Vietnamese Spring Rolls anywhere: pricey, yet unbelievably delicious.

                                                                                        Pho 88 (Spadina location): I haven't been here in a long time, last time I visited I was very underwhelmed by the food which was not nearly as well made as it used to be many years ago.

                                                                                        I still have not tried Pho Pasteur, but am very disappointed at the lack of quality Vietnamese restaurants in the Chinatown area. I once took for granted that Pho Hung and Pho 88 were good Pho destinations on Spadina, but now I miss that level of quality in Chinatown. Kim Bo is still great but not their Pho.

                                                                                        Chinatown East: Pho House (formerly Pho House 88), Xe Lua, Hanoi 3 Seasons;
                                                                                        Pho House: What used to be the Pho 88 restaurant on Gerrard, East of Broadview, now has new owners. And a new name: Pho House Vietnamese Noodle Restaurant. The quality of food has also gone up. The Pho was good before, and now it is excellent. Living nearby, this has become my local go-to Pho restaurant. And I am not alone, as this is one of the hottest neighbourhood restaurants in the area. Pho House is getting more regular business from locals than any other Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown East.

                                                                                        The broth, although not as heavy and complex as some, is wonderfully tasty with amazing aroma. It is one of the more fragrant broths in Toronto. The rare beef slices could be thicker, but overall the portion size is good. They even have Ve Don (well-done brisket) as a Pho option, which I enjoy but is not available everywhere. As a fan of Culantro (Ngo Gai) I had to ask specifically for it initially (now they know me), the owners told me they don't serve Culantro to non-Asians automatically as often it is unused and goes to waste. Sometimes the Thai Basil not as fresh as other Pho restaurants listed here, overall it is not a problem. Be aware that they often microwave their spring rolls before serving, which makes them mushy and not that pleasant. I have criticized them for it, and when I have received fresh spring rolls they were very good.

                                                                                        Xe Lua: I was very unimpressed by my recent visit. Although I only visited Xe Lua once, I was so underwhelmed by the Pho that I have little desire to return a second time. The broth was bland and lacking depth and fragrance. I was also not impressed with the noodles they served with the Pho, which were much thicker than I like. A very boring and uninspired bowl of Pho, I really don’t care to return to try them out again.

                                                                                        I visited Hanoi 3 Seasons, but was a bit under the weather. I think my palate was affected so I have to return and try the Pho again, as I was not impressed by my experience. I will return and post a better review.

                                                                                        Toronto (other): Pho My Duyen, Pho Tien Thanh, Pho Vietnam;
                                                                                        Pho My Duyen: A very complex broth in their Pho, it is very rich and has lots of depth. Overall a very good Pho choice, with very nice decor. I am unsure about the MSG content of their Pho. When I ate Pho in the early afternoon I think there was MSG, but not in the evening as I didn’t get the same feeling in my gut after eating.

                                                                                        They also serve Ve Don but when I ordered a "Pho Tai Song, Ve Don" I got so little brisket, and the pieces I did get were paltry, I sent back the soup for a better portion. A bit disappointing that they would try and serve paltry Ve Don portions as overall the portion size is very good at Pho My Duyen. The "Tai Song" (very rare flank) was already cooked in the broth, if you want very rare just ask for it on the side. Bonus points for extremely fresh Thai Basil and Culantro (served automatically) on every visit. Negative points for the $35 (!!) price for the Bo 7 Mon meal (as compared to the $25 Bo 7 Mon at every other Vietnamese restaurant that serves the dish).

                                                                                        Pho Tien Thanh: A simply amazing bowl of Pho. During my recent (and only) visit to Tien Thanh on a Saturday afternoon Rua Vang sat nearly empty up the street while Tien Thanh was filled to capacity with Vietnamese and Chinese diners. Clearly the locals have their preference, although I have not been to Rua Vang in many years. The Pho itself was wonderfully fragrant with good depth and complexity to the broth. The portion size was generous and the garnishes very fresh, Culantro provided automatically. They do charge 50¢ extra for the Hanh Tran, however. I had a chance to talk to the owner while visiting and he actually thought I was a reviewer for Toronto Life . The mag had recently contacted them about doing an upcoming story on the restaurant. I politely denied any association with the mag, and did not mention this review. I will be back as the Pho is excellent.

                                                                                        Pho Vietnam: A single visit while working in Scarborough left me with a very good impression. Excellent broth that was very fragrant with good depth. Not as complex as Pho Dau Bo, the broth is more similar to Pho House in East Chinatown, forsaking some depth for a very tasty and fragrant broth. The noodles were also excellent with a unique (almost delicate) consistency. Although I can’t remember all the other Pho restaurants I’ve visited in Scarborough, Pho Vietnam has quickly become my favourite Scarborough Pho spot. They thought I had Vietnamese parents based upon my order, which I’ll take as a compliment. No Ve Don option, however, and I had to ask for Culantro.

                                                                                        I have to return to Rua Vang (Golden Turtle). I have had good experiences many years ago, but will investigate to see if Rua Vang can still deliver a good bowl of Pho.

                                                                                        GTA: Kim Po, Pho Dau Bo, Pho Mi Asia;
                                                                                        Kim Po: Like Kim Bo, their tenants downtown, Kim Po has slipped considerably in the quality of Pho. Although never spectacular, the Pho today is simply mundane. A lack of complexity and depth in the broth as well as relatively meagre portions, mean I no longer look forward to Kim Po while visiting Richmond Hill.

                                                                                        Pho Dau Bo: A very complex and deep broth in their Pho. They have one of the heaviest Pho broths around, along with Pho My Duyen. I find Pho Dau Bo to have a better balance of flavours compared to Pho My Duyen, and no hint of MSG either. The Pho is excellent with generous portions and very fresh garnishes (Culantro automatically). They sometimes serve a lot of Cilantro (not Culantro) in the soup, which I tend to take out for balance. The service can also be rude, but the Pho makes up for it. This is a favourite among Mississauga locals, and while in Kitchener I found that many locals also knew of their local Pho Dau Bo as well. Although not nearly as well made as the Mississauga location, the Kitchener location’s Pho was decent.

                                                                                        Pho Mi Asia: Just down the block from Pho Dau Bo in Mississauga, Pho Mi Asia is a strong competitor. Featuring much better decor and friendlier service, it is a more inviting restaurant. The Pho is excellent as well. The first time I went, I was not blown away, but on recent visits I was very impressed with the quality of Pho. The broth is both fragrant and complex with good depth. Portion sizes are generous, and they also serve Ve Don option with good size pieces of brisket. The garnishes are fresh with Culantro automatically served. Pho Mi Asia barely edges out Pho Dau Bo for quality and taste, although it is a very close decision. Both restaurants offer excellent Pho.

                                                                                        1. re: VooX

                                                                                          Wow, thanks for the comprehensive review!

                                                                                          I prefer Thien Thanh to Rua Vang as well.
                                                                                          Have you tried Pho Phuong, Crispy Roll (in Scarb) or any of the Peach Garden locations?

                                                                                          1. re: VooX

                                                                                            Thanks for the review. I agree completely with your assessment of Pho House (former Pho 88 in Chinatown east) as I noticed a definite improvement when ownership changed.

                                                                                            There is one other place I'd recommend you try in the area, Que Ling on Bolton St. I was there the other day and the broth was full of flavour, fragrant and relatively non-greasy.

                                                                                            1. re: VooX

                                                                                              Very much appreciated, I agree with you on places like Tien Thanh and Pho My Duyen, some of my favs in the city.

                                                                                              I would suggest you do try Pho Pasteur for Chinatown. Like you said, the rest on the strip are serving lackluster bowls at best. A small at Pho Pasteur is extremely filling.

                                                                                              You mentioned you live near Chinatown east, have you tried Que Ling yet?

                                                                                              1. re: aser

                                                                                                Hey sorry for the late reply, but you can't post onto this site with the iPhone, one gets "stuck" on the mobile version of the site, with no posting ability... which sucks.

                                                                                                Que Ling - I've tried going a couple of times, but each time they were closed. Anyone know their hours? Much like Hanoi 3 Seasons, it is hard for me to go anywhere other than Pho House when in East Chinatown. Every bowl I've eaten at Pho House has been great, so it is tough to go try the unknown when a personal favourite is staring me in the face.

                                                                                                Pho Pasteur - Tried it out a couple of weeks ago, want to try again before posting a review to test consistency.

                                                                                                Peach Garden - Did not hear of or try this restaurant before now. I saw a location on Spadina, so when I'm in the area I'll drop by. Are there any other locations?

                                                                                                Pho Phuong - Forgot about this spot... I've have never tried this restaurant ever, so will post a review after a couple of visits.

                                                                                                Tien Thanh - I have returned a few times since my review, and left very happy each time. Probably my favourite bowl of Pho in the city today. Still haven't been to Rua Vang in a long time... Like Pho House in East Chinatown, when on Ossington it is tough for me to walk up the street to Rua Vang when every bowl I've had at Tien Thanh has been outstanding. What can you say? I'm a weak man.

                                                                                                And what is with the two Pho threads on Chowhound? I picked this thread to post in as there were more 2009 postings (and more detailed reviews) than the other thread. I've noticed since bumping this thread, the other Pho thread popped up with quick reviews. Is there a competition between the threads? It just seems strange the two threads weren't merged.

                                                                                                1. re: VooX

                                                                                                  yeah great reviews on toronto pho houses. what did you mean however by pho tien tanh charging 50 cents extra for Hanh Tran? Is that the basil or the saw leaf?

                                                                                                  1. re: deabot

                                                                                                    Hanh Tran is green onion (scallions) roots cut about two inches long. Asking for Nuoc Beo Hanh Tran gives you the cut onions in fatty Pho broth. The Hanh Tran themselves are not mind blowing or extremely tasty, I just love how well they compliment the Pho when I add one to my fully loaded spoon.

                                                                                                    Just be careful they don't give you Nuoc Beo as your Pho broth with Hanh Tran inside. The fat in the Nuoc Beo really overpowers Pho soup and upsets the delicate balance of flavours, it is best left on the side with your Hanh Tran.

                                                                                                    When I went to Pho Pasteur, that is how they interpreted my "Nuoc Beo Hanh Tran" order (there was a visible layer of fat on the surface of the Pho). The happily replaced the Pho with the proper order and the Hanh Tran on the side.

                                                                                                  2. re: VooX

                                                                                                    Great review VooX...I like your assesment as it seems to match mine....my current fave in downtown is currently Pho Pasteur,very flavourful broth but needs to improve the quality of their beef....
                                                                                                    Que Ling is another fave,I think they close by 7 pm........their broth is a bit oily though.....that is one place where the clientele is mainly vietnamese,which is a good sign.....

                                                                                                    1. re: warlock

                                                                                                      yeah Que Ling close at 7, and also I think they're closed on either Tues or Wed.

                                                                                                      Pho Pasteur is probably one of the best late night options in the city.

                                                                                                    2. re: VooX

                                                                                                      i wouldn't go to pho phuong for their pho, it will ultimately lead to disappointment. you should go there for their other offerings. they recently seem to have made it msg laden which is just sending it further down the list for pho dining.

                                                                                                      i've had some bad one-off experiences at several of the places you recommend (disgusting noodles at tien thanh, very greasy broth and old dank towel smelling beef at pho pasteur), seems like i may have to give them a second shot to see if what i had prior was a true representation of their products.

                                                                                                      1. re: VooX

                                                                                                        peach garden is in the plaza outside pacific mall and also on carleton st opposite the carleton movie theatre just east of yonge

                                                                                                    3. re: VooX

                                                                                                      Oh please, VooX, where can I get pho without MSG? It doesn't even hav eto be all that good.

                                                                                                      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                        You are very insistent on this point, yet you have mentioned in a previous post that "Oh please, who doesn't use MSG...". For the record, Pho Mi Asia (Dundas and Dixie location) seems to use very little MSG, certainly when compared to most pho restos around the GTA. Good luck, VV. I think you'll need it.

                                                                                                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                                                                                          I tend to get a headache and don't feel so great after eating something with MSG, so that's all I've got to go by, but Pho Linh - College, west of Duffering - leaves me feeling fine after a big bowl of soup.

                                                                                                          1. re: Davedigger

                                                                                                            I heard good things about pho linh too

                                                                                                            1. re: Davedigger

                                                                                                              MSG doesn't cause headaches. MSG is found in great quantities in aged cheese, ripe tomatoes, and mushrooms among many other foods. MSG is natural, and essential to the body. Artificial MSG is an exact analogue to natural MSG and can be eaten without fear of illness of any kind. Only believing that it affects you will cause you problems.... the placebo effect.

                                                                                                              1. re: clamnectar

                                                                                                                That's not what I have read. MSG can cause problems for people who are allergic to it.

                                                                                                                There is more info here:
                                                                                                                http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/...

                                                                                                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                                                                                                  nonsense.
                                                                                                                  MSG will sometimes give me a severe stomach ache.
                                                                                                                  DH will become drowsy.
                                                                                                                  We can handle a small amount with no problem.
                                                                                                                  Had Dim Sum at Dumpling King a couple of weeks ago, and both had side effects.
                                                                                                                  .

                                                                                                                  1. re: erly

                                                                                                                    your anectodal evidence is meaningless. It could be any number of things causing your stomach ache and drowsiness.

                                                                                                                    Is MSG different from glutamate?

                                                                                                                    "The human body treats MSG the same as natural glutamate found in food. For instance, the body does not distinguish between free glutamate from tomatoes, cheese or mushrooms and the glutamate from MSG added to foods. Glutamate is glutamate, whether naturally present or from MSG."

                                                                                                                    http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/c...

                                                                                                                  2. re: foodyDudey

                                                                                                                    And further:

                                                                                                                    "How much Glutamate do people consume?

                                                                                                                    The average American consumes about 11 grams of glutamate per day from natural protein sources and less than 1 gram of glutamate per day from MSG. This amount of added MSG is the same as adding 1 to 1.5 ounces of parmesan cheese. In contrast, the human body creates about 50 grams of glutamate daily for use as a vital component of metabolism."

                                                                                                                    http://lonestar.texas.net/~czubeck/ne...

                                                                                                                    I'm afraid the health Canada info you posted is merely a hedge because what people claim to experience is not easily dismissed. But there is no scientific basis for the belief that MSG is harmful and causes ill effects.

                                                                                                        2. I finally tried Pho Pasteur and it is fantastic. The broth is perfect, the quantity of meat is adequate, and it comes with a generous pile of extras. But it's all about the broth. Really great broth.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: clamnectar

                                                                                                            Hi clamnectar. I tried Pho Pasteur for the first time recently and while I think the broth is complex and promising, it was far too salty for me and my dining companion. We shared Pho Ga and rare beef pho. If it weren't for the saltiness, I'd say the broth was amongst the best I've tried in the city.

                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                            Pho Pasteur
                                                                                                            525 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5T1H4, CA

                                                                                                            1. re: Yum2MyTum

                                                                                                              I recently had the beef sate soup at Pho Pasteur and agree on the salt matter. Otherwise, they did a good portion and the order was clean and tasty.

                                                                                                              Unfortunately, I recently enjoyed a tour of Vietnam and I doubt I'll be able to find here at home anything close to the fragrant and subtle soup I had many times while there.