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Jun 11, 2008 02:30 PM

Pho in DC?

Periodically (like now, for instance), I get these overwhelming cravings to eat Vietnamese soup with fresh basil and sprouts and enough sriracha to my nose run. Question is, is there a place to get decent pho in DC? The closer to U St., the better.

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  1. Cafe Deli is a weird hole in the wall on 6 near H NW that does a decent version if you're in the area (not a destination) and you have to ask for extra Sriracha.

    1. nam viet/pho 79 in cleveland park is pretty good.

      3 Replies
      1. re: kneelconqueso

        what is it about the number 79 that I don't understand? I've seen it too many places in regard to Pho for it to be a coincidence in a restaurant name.

        a google just lists more places with that name.

        1. re: hill food

          If its like pho 75 its the year the owners came over to the states....

          1. re: hill food


            A popular naming convention for phở restaurants in some localities seems to be placing a number in the name (e.g. Phở 24, whose name refers to the use of 24 ingredients, and the 24 hours required to prepare the broth).[3] There are four differing stories as to how this practice came about:

            * The restaurant was opened in the year indicated in the name.
            * The owner of the restaurant was a restaurateur in Vietnam before immigrating, and their restaurant was located on that street number.
            * Much in the same way that one would see multiple burger restaurants with a number after them (e.g., John's #2), the number is simply present to prevent duplication in naming.
            * According to the owner of a phở restaurant in Maryland, the number is one that is considered "lucky" by the owner.

            Additionally, some restaurant names are unintentional (or in some cases, intentional) forms of word play on phở and f***, as in "Phở Kim Long", "What the Phở?" [4][5] and even "Phở King".[6][7][8]

        2. this place isn't super-close to U street, but right across the river from DC is Pho 75 (smack in the middle of courthouse/rosslyn metros) and it's great, great stuff. as much sriracha as you want and a big heaping plate of basil, sprouts and cilantro.

          6 Replies
          1. re: littlew1ng

            pho75 is definitely the best, but just down the street you might try minh's. the pho is good, and they have plenty of other menu items.

            1. re: littlew1ng

              Just to close the loop, I went to Pho 75 last night and it was great. Thanks for the recommendation!

              1. re: nbritton

                I had Pho 75 for lunch yesterday. It was a big bowl (and I had the small!) full of a decent broth, oodles of noodles, and a nice helping of tendon, tripe, and flank.

                The broth, while good, lacked that essential "Pho"ness that I crave. It was meaty, but not very oniony and there was no discernable star anise in it. Of course, dump in enough Sriracha and it's great, but it should be a condiment, not something to overcome the broth's shortcomings.

                The meats were lovely. The tendon was the perfect thickness, and therefore, texture. The tripe was uber-thin, so again, went perfectly with the dish. The flank was raw when I got it, and so cooked wonderfully in the broth.

                Their Thai basil was fresh and delicious, and they served the ver y large bean sprouts, which added the the perfect amount of earthiness and crunch.

                I'll definitely be back.

                If I could take Pho 1's broth and Pho75's meats, I would be in Pho heaven. :)

                1. re: venera

                  Which Pho 75 location? I have noticed variances - I think the Takoma and Rockville locations are much better than the Rosslyn location, for instance.

                  1. re: DanielK

                    Catonsville, outside of Baltimore. They had a serious Pho, as well as an overall amazing menu.

                    1. re: venera

                      Are you sure that's not Pho #1 or Pho Nam?

                      I'm aware of the DC-area chain by the name Pho 75, but I don't remember them having a Catonsville location, and all of the other Pho 75 locations are pho-only.