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Mar 20, 2007 08:51 AM

Pho in Baltimore

I am a huge fan of Vietnamese noodle soup- Pho. I moved here from Seattle, and have been to many of the local places and have never been truly impressed. I think that An Loi in Columbia is about the best I have found until today. I went to Security Square Mall, and ate the the Pho restaurant in Seoul Plaza- upstairs. I have eaten there before but not recently. The place is called Pho Huong Moi- and was taken over about 4 months ago by a new Vietnamese owner. I spent about 20 minutes talking to the new owner who seems like a great guy. The Pho was by far the best I've had in the Baltimore area. Fresh vegetables alongside, and not too greasy like some. I highly recommend the place- it is well worth checking out.

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  1. Thanks for the tip! I am a huge Pho fan, discovered it at Minato in Mt. Vernon, of all places.

    I've also had it at the Pho shop across the parking lot from Thai Gour in Glen Burnie at Rte 2/B&A Blvd. There's is more authentic, with being able to choose what cuts of meat you want. Quite tasty.

    But I'll have to take a drive up to Security Square Mall and try out Pho Huong Moi. Thanks for the tip!

    1 Reply
    1. re: venera

      The Pho place you are referring to in Glen Burnie is Miss Saigon. Luckily, this place is about 10 minutes from my house because the Pho is very good. When I am not making Pho at home, this is the place I go.

    2. Whatever you do, don't go to Saigon Remembered on York Road.
      I used to really love An Loi and then the Vietnamese owners sold it to Koreans and the food has not been nearly as good since. It's a shame.
      I will try Pho Huong Moi, I think it used to have a Korean owner and now that it has a Vietnamese one I will give it a go!

      1 Reply
      1. re: hon

        I agree, Saigon remembered is not very good. I have been to a couple of the others and route 40 that are decent. Pho Huong Moi in Security Square Mall does have a couple of other dishes- and has all of the traditional Vietnamese meat selections for the Pho including chicken, but not vegetarian. They also make a small assortment of Vietnamese drinks and coffees, though not as extensive as An Loi's- I do love An Loi's mango bubble drink- I think it's better than their Pho. I have also noticed that their Pho quality has declined since the change in management.

      2. I have had other decent Pho on the Westside as well:

        - Pho Nam in the same strip mall as the Babies R Us on Rte 40 just west of Rolling Rd,
        -Pho #1 in the Westview Shopping Center, just inside the Beltway on Rte 40.

        Having lived in Seattle myself, I think the Pho that comes closest to Seattle Pho is Pho 75 on Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn/Clarendon (Arlington, VA), worth the trip, IMHO.

        6 Replies
        1. re: aubzamzam

          How is Pho #1, I've seen it but haven't been there.

          1. re: hon

            Pho #1 is pretty good. I thought it was better than Miss Pho (the precursor to the one mentioned above in Seoul Plaza) and certainly good enough when I get the jones'ng. Maybe a little greasy but certainly not too bad.

            1. re: BmoreHound

              I like Pho #1, although it's a little greasy. Also, a great place to catch up on what's going on on VH1.

          2. re: aubzamzam

            The best Vietnamese food that I've had in this area is at a pair of places over in Eden Center- I think- near Falls Church. That is ALMOST as good as the stuff in Seattle- it is quite authentic, and has the very fresh flavors that I miss. The problem is that it's hard to justify the 90 minute drive or I495 traffic for it. I do have to occasionally make my DC pilgrimage to places like that, but it is quite a hike. It's nice to have good food closer to home!

            1. re: baltymoron

              Believe it or not, the vietnamese population in NoVA alone approaches that of the entire Seattle metro area, so it would make sense that one could get some decent Vietnamese food in NoVA. Not the case in Baltimore though...glad to see a few attempts popping up at least.

            2. re: aubzamzam

              i agree...both those places are great. pho #1 has pho and vietnamese food...try the bbq pork with rice...comes with this great sweet and sour vinagrette...delicious....the salt and pepper shrimp is really good too(i think thats more chinese but still tasty)...pho nam is just a straight up whole in the wall pho shop...i think the pho is better there...the broth is a little more rich and complex.

            3. Thanks, OP! I drove by Security the other day, saw the sign and wondered if the place was any good. So now I'll have to check it out.

              Do they have other dishes besides Pho?

              1. Being Vietnamese, heres my ratings for baltimore area pho:

                1. Pho Dat Thanh in columbia off of snowden, been going their for years, although some of the dishes seemed to have changed over the years, not sure if its different ownership, but still the best for pho and other vietnamese dishes

                2. Pho #1 in cantonsville

                3. Miss Saigon in Glen Burnie

                4. Pho Real in Burtonsville

                Haven't tried an loi, but i heard it used to be a lot better

                I'll check out nam sometime soon

                Saigon Remembered is total crap in my opinion, went there a couple weeks ago, the waiter tried to make me order from the sushi bar, why the hell am i going to order sushi from a vietnamese place, no one spoke vietnamese when i tried to ask if they had bo vien, the pho wasnt spiced well at all, i think they actually had more thai dishes than anything

                Although a long drive from baltimore, Eden Center has a lot of great places, and is worth the drive if u want the good shit

                8 Replies
                1. re: PRC

                  Thank you for the authoritative list. What's the atmospher like at Miss Saigon?

                  1. re: chowsearch

                    The atmosphere at Miss Saigon is pretty basic, clean, strip mall storefront, with a few tables inside. It makes Pho #1 look upscale, by comparison. But then, pho shops aren't normally known for being heavy on the ambience, and Glen Burnie is also not a locale that one immediately associates with avant garde restaurant decor, so it should be no surprise that a pho shop in Glen Burnie is about as nondescript as one might expect.

                    That said, the storefront windows let in plenty of light, and the times I've been there, it's been as tidy and cheerful as such a place can be. It's just got that generic strip mall counter and tables look to it - if Miss Saigon moved out, they could put in an ice-cream shop, a rotisserie chicken place, a pizza carry-out, or whatever. It's got that generic "dine in or carry-out food establishment goes here" look, with the usual few decorative touches by the management to try to make the place a little less anonymous.

                    Pretty good pho, too.

                    1. re: Warthog

                      Thanks. Is there any other nice sit-down, non-Sysco meal in Glen Burnie these days?

                      1. re: chowsearch

                        Hmmm... For "old school", there's the Sunset, for "successful local chain", there's Bill Bateman's on Aquahart next to the B&A trail at Harundale Mall.

                        There's reportedly a rotisserie chicken place in the Food Lion strip mall very close to Miss Saigon, but I've not been there. There's also a Thai place (Thai Gour?) across the street from Miss Saigon.

                        If you want to expand your scope to Linthicum, there's surprisingly good Japanese as Matsu, next to the Linthicum Post Office (of all places), just north/east of the light rail tracks on Camp Meade Road.

                        And Anne's Footlongs down by Marley Station. I'm not sure if the Mexican place across Route 2 (Plaza Garibaldi?) is still there, but that was decent.

                        The Korean place (don't know the name) on Crain Highway just north of the 648 intersection (across Crain Highway from the back of the Food Lion) has a decent lunch buffet, and further up Crain Highway, there's a Salvadorean place whose name escapes me on the west side, and then a block or so beyond that, Las Sirenitas for Mexican. Upo in Brooklyn Park, just off of Rt 2 (diagonally across the intersection from Ollie's), there's Linda's Steaks, where Asian owners do a wickedly good Italian cheesesteak.

                        Los Portales on Aviation Boulevard is also decent Mexican.

                        OK, some of those are outside of Glen Burnie, but I tried to stick to places one could get to for a decent lunch from Glen Burnie.

                        I'm sure others will chime in with other suggestions, or corrections. I don't lunch in the area too often.

                        1. re: chowsearch

                          Tokyo Sushi in the strip mall at the intersection of Rtes 2 and 177 (Mountain Road). Their sushi is great, and the inside isn't like eating at Costco.

                          Trattoria Alberto is a fabulous meal, but pricey. It's also in a strip mall but they've decorated the inside so that you think you're in Italia.

                          There's a Thai place on Rte 2 near Jumper's Hole Road whose name I'm forgetting. It's behind the Dunkin Donuts, near Huffard Animal Hospital. Very good Thai, better than Thai Gour IMHO.

                          That's pretty much it for good eatin' in Glen Burnie, unfortunately. Everything else I've had in the area is very average.

                          1. re: venera

                            The Thai place on Rt 2 behind Dunkin's is (or was last time I went by) is Bangkok Oriental,and its a winner,my introduction some 15 years ago to the world of Thai flavors.The owner is most gracious,the room is very pretty.It did take me quite a while to get them to crank up the Thai-heat,but they eventually gave in.Recommended.

                    2. re: PRC

                      I'm a regular at Pho #1, although I think that sometimes the pho can be inconsistent. The other menu items are also strong. In fact, we talked about a chow outing there in the near future in the form of a Vietnamese banquet.

                      I have to agree that for anyone jonesing greatVietnamese food, or banh mi, a trip to Eden Center is a must.

                      1. re: baltoellen

                        Ooo, a chow outing there would be great!