Pho14 was awesome. Who do you recommend?
- sjomansbiff Feb 20, 2010 09:49 AM
On a recent trip to DC in January, I was craving some pho so my girlfriend and I went out to Columbia Heights to try Pho 14 (on Park Road NW between 14th and 15th). It's a new place, but we went during lunch time and it was really busy, so we sat at the bar instead of waiting for a table. We had a great time!
The food was really fresh and came out quickly, which was great because we were starved. We ordered spring rolls to start and both got the fatty brisket pho. The spring rolls were a good portion size and everything was incredibly fresh and really tasty. We ordered the smaller bowls of pho, and even though we started out starving we couldn't finish everything. Next time we go we might either split the bigger one with the spring rolls or both get the big bowl and take home the leftovers.
They have more than just pho, even though we didn't try any of the other entrees. Two guys who sat down next to us both got sandwiches (#44) and they looked amazing. I'd definitely go back there again. The staff was friendly, service was fast, and it was delicious pho. Plus, it was very cheap! For an appetizer, two bowls of pho, and some tea the total bill was only about 24 dollars. We left very satisfied, and I'd definitely recommend it!
Has anyone else eaten at Pho 14? Did you like it? Thoughts?
I've been to Pho 14 twice. The first time I got a small pho for dinner and left hungry and sorry I hadn't ordered a large. I thought the pho was just OK. As I recall, the broth seemed thin and somewhat lacking in flavor. The second time I went for a bahn mi and was very disappointed. I might have gone back a 3rd time, but then I went to Pho Viet and liked it way more - I posted about it (see below). Now I feel like if I'm in the neighborhood and want pho, I will definitely choose Pho Viet over Pho 14.
My experiences at Pho 14 have been great overall, and I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. I've enjoyed beef pho twice (though the chicken pho is blah), found the broth to be good, large serving, no problems. Banh mi on one occasion was really great - grilled pork I think. I've posted on this before.
Looking forward to trying Pho Viet as well!
I went here again yesterday as Pho Viet is closed on Tuesdays and my friends and I had a pho craving. Warning: never order a hot Vietnamese coffee here! It was just awful and did not come with the silver drip apparatus as it should. The Vietnamese coffee (and other beverages) are excellent at Pho Viet.
The pho is good, but the meat (I ordered mine with tai and fat brisket) comes fully submerged, so it is overcooked. The spring rolls were quite good, better than those at Pho Viet I think.
So I haven't changed my mind: Pho 14 is a very reasonable alternative when Pho Viet is closed. I also really like the neat-as-a-pin, family-run atmosphere of Pho Viet. It feels more like eating in someone's house where I am recognized when I go in. Pho 14 is a busy restaurant.
There is a Pho 14 on Connecticut Ave in Van Ness now. Don't know if it is related to the one in Columbia Heights. We were seriously in need of a bowl of pho and usually schlep up to Pho VN 1 in Beltsville for great pho, but that was just too far out of our way yesterday so we decided to try Pho 14. Glad we did, as it is nearly as good as Pho VN 1. The beef broth was very rich and flavorful (though of course very salty, as are all pho broths). The accompanying sprouts, cilantro, etc. were very fresh.
The service was great.
The banh mi was good but not nearly as good as Song Que in Eden Center. The bread was too soft, there was too much meat, and not enough veggies and no spiciness.
The only disappointment was the Vietnamese coffee. It was pre-made in the glass and was FULL of the sweetened condensed milk. When I get it elsewhere and it drips into the cup, I add just a tiny bit of the sweetened condensed milk. I ended up not drinking it.