Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Jul 6, 2008 07:48 AM

Going against the flow...about Pho

I was feeling kinda puny Saturday and really wanted Pho, but didn't want to drive all the way to Pho #1 after filling the car with $65. in gas. So I drove to the much-maligned on this board Saigon Remembered on York Road. It was about 1:30-2, and a very nice young man greeted me and sat me in a booth. There were 3 other tables filled. I ordered a Thai beer, and the pho with rare beef, and asked him to hold the cilantro. He asked if I wanted onions, and I said yes, lots. I was quite apprehensive, but......
IT WAS DELICIOUS! The bowl was not as large as #1, but plenty large enough. The beef was plentiful and rare, the broth extremely flavorful....not greasy, even beefier than # 1. I put a tiny bit of siracha in, but it didn't need anything but a spoon and chopsticks.
Of course by the time I finished I was really hot and the waiter laughed when I waved my napkin back and forth
So....was he as friendly and chatty as Kenny? No. Was the Pho as good? Yes, even better and I realize I might have hit them on a "good" day. Was it more expensive? Yes...$9.95 versus $6 and change. But with gas at 4 bucks a gallon it was a win-win for me as my meal was 4 bucks more at Saigon. I urge anyone who has had bad pho in the past there to try again. I will be back for the Chicken one, which I have never tried. Sign me "Pleasantly surprised"...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've never tried Saigon Remembered although it is next to my gym. I have heard good it is a good place for things other than pho. I personally prefer the pho at Pho Nam in Catonsville over Pho #1. The broth seems to be more flavorful. However I have no idea whether that is more authentic or not. One of these days, I may give Saigon Remembered a whirl

    1 Reply
    1. re: amethiste

      I've not tried Pho Nam because it's just as far away for me, but I've heard it is very tasty. Let us know what you think of Saigon Remembered as I am a Pho novice!

    2. I don't care for the pho at Saigon Remembered myself (something lacking in the broth's complexity, I think) - plus I'm particular about my pho (love the more adventurous meat toppings like tendon and tripe) so don't care for the fact that SR only has 1 or 2 kinds. Like Amethiste I prefer Pho Nam but agree it's quite the hike.

      Having said that, I don't entirely turn up my nose at Saigon Remembered. I find most of their menu to be watered-down Vietnamese, but I really, really enjoy their grilled meat on vermicelli (bun) dishes and their summer rolls aren't bad, so I do visit them perhaps once every few months. Plus, it's only 3 minutes away from my house, so it's close enough not to feel too bad about it not being the most authentic Vietnamese.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bluepig1

        I don't think I've ever had any other kind of Vietnamese food other than when we had a chow outing at Pho #1 so I will be anxious to try the ones you have mentioned. I have also never had the chicken Pho...I usually have the rare beef and flank or brisket...I have tried the tendon and tripe, but like the rare better!

      2. Hm, perhaps they've changed their pho from the last time (1.5 years) I had it. Maybe next time I'm up in the Towson area I'll give it another shot. From what I remember, it was salty and not particularly flavorful. I'm with Bluepig1 on Pho Nam, though I think it's much better on weekends than weekdays.

        1 Reply
        1. re: daveinmd

          Changed from what? Elements will change from day to day depending on who came into work first to make the broth. There are two pho places near my work that I frequent alternately once or twice a week. The only thing I can depend on is that it will not be the same each time I go. And yet, these places are filled with vietnamese and other asians, so apparently the fluxuations don't bother them.

        2. Though it is a 20-30 minute drive from Baltimore, An Loi Pho in Columbia is delicious and affordable. Of course, with the $4 gas and tunnel costs, I'll have to try Saigon...

          1 Reply
          1. re: thecheeseisblue

            I work in Columbia and used to love An Loi's pho but when they sold the place, the new ownership just did not make it as well.

          2. We have split off a discussion about the level of consistency one should expect with pho to a new topic on the General Chowhounding Topics board. You can find that topic here:

            Please help keep this discussion focused on pho in the Washington DC & Baltimore area.