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Pho

g
grbroderick Dec 14, 2010 09:27 AM

For those who don't know about pho (my keyboard won't do the Vietnamese-specific accents), it is a Viet rice noodle soup composed of broth, your choice of meats (meatballs, lean round beef, flank, tendon, tripe, etc.). as well as cilantro and onions. The eater can season his bowl of soup to his preference with more cilantro, mint, lime, chile peppers, bean sprouts, etc..

So, what's your favorite pho places around Houston? Here are mine - most are clustered in midtown because that's generally where I have been around lunch time:

- Pho Saigon. This is my default go-to place for pho in Houston. Reliable, tasty, always satisfying

- Pho Nga (small place on Milam, family-owned and operated). I like that the slices of brisket in the pho here are nice and thick and well-cooked through. Tasty broth!

- Thien An. A smaller sandwich (banh mi) shop - I've tried their pho a couple of times, found it to be good, but the broth is a little 'off' flavor to me.

- Van Loc. It has been a while since I've been here, but from my recollection, they put out a decent bowl of pho, but more Americanized than the places above.

- Mai's. Of course they're not open right now, but this used to be my go-to place for late night pho, after chorus rehearsal. Americanized, like Van Loc, but a reliable product.

- Hollywood. About the only thing that Hollywood's pho has to recommend itself is that it is open late after the bars close. Pho tai was way overcooked, almost inedible, broth was ok but definitely nothing to write home about.

Places that I have on my list to try:

- Pho Binh

- Pho Ga Dakao - I just read about this place in the Houston Press and it's gone on my to-try list

both places are way off of my beaten path, but I've heard enough good about them that I'm going to make the trip.

I usually order pho tai nam (rare lean round steak and medium-well brisket), Sometimes, I'll order the round steak raw on the side and dump it into the bowl at the table. Doing this makes the broth even richer and tastier! I typically season my pho with basil, lime and jalapeno slices and put hoisin and sriracha sauces in a small bowl to the side for dipping.

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Van Loc Restaurant
3010 Milam St, Houston, TX 77006

Pho Binh
2021 Mangum Rd, Houston, TX 77092

Pho Ga Dakao
11778 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77072

Nga Restaurant
2929 Milam St Ste C, Houston, TX 77006

Pho Saigon
7400 W Tidwell Rd Ste A, Houston, TX 77040

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  1. air RE: grbroderick Dec 14, 2010 09:35 AM

    Pho Binh if I'm wanting heavy, greasier broth. Pho One for the light and subtle kind.

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    Pho Binh
    2021 Mangum Rd, Houston, TX 77092

    Pho One
    11148 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77042

    1. j
      Jaymes RE: grbroderick Dec 15, 2010 11:59 AM

      And for any of you that don't already know it, Pho Saigon has a Katy location, on Mason. Darn tasty food.

      1. g
        grbroderick RE: grbroderick Dec 19, 2010 06:51 AM

        I finally got out Bellaire to try Pho Ga Dakao yesterday for lunch and I had the best bowl of chicken pho that I've ever eaten there. Broth was delicate, not oily, but properly spiced, the noodles were provided in ample quantity and were obviously homemade, the bowl was full of chunks of dark and white meat chicken, with strips of attached chicken skin which certainly enhanced the broth with their flavor.

        I've always found a good rule of thumb with ethnic restaurants -- when you're the only white guy in the place, the food is authentic and good. Well, in this case, the food was authentic and very good! I will be back!

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        Pho Ga Dakao
        11778 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77072

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