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Bun bo hue at Xinh Xinh

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Just remembered to post some praise for the bún bò Huế at Xinh Xinh. Without a doubt the best version you can get around here, at least out of the ~10 I've tried. Most places just put some chili oil on the pho broth, some don't even use the right kind of noodles. The broth at Xinh Xinh is ultra-rich and dense, salty, like gravy. In addition to the pig knuckle there's a good amount of thin sliced beef, which is also sometimes absent. There's also some kind of black sausage or other processed/sliced bouncy meat product. They use the right kind of noodles (and there are plenty) and mix them with lots of thin slices of what I think is cabbage (maybe banana flower?), for that traditional crunchy texture. There's a lot of fresh lemongrass on top that makes it ultra fragrant ,and lightens up the heavy salt/umami/cilantro/onion flavor of the soup. Highly recommend!

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Xinh Xinh
7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

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  1. I'm glad to hear this (and the other happy post just this morning on Xinh Xinh); I haven't been back there lately, though it has always been one of my favorite Vietnamese joints, especially close to home, and there had been more than one downhill report on it here in the last few months.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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    Xinh Xinh
    7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Agreed, though I was admittedly skeptical of the negative reviews. I have had consistently good stuff across the board at Xinh Xinh. It is my favorite Vietnamese place short of Dorchester. I had a very good bun at Anh Hong last night though, they have some interesting toppings.

    2. Bun bo hue is my favorite Vietnamese noodle soup dish. I also find Xinh Xinh's version one of the best (Dong Kahn used to do a really nice version too, but it's been a while since I've eaten there). Also a must is real pig trotters! I'm finding so many are skimping and putting some version of processed pork product in there instead. I can't tell if this is trying to appeal more to Western audiences, or shear laziness due to the preparation needed. I personally find gnawing on the tender and flavorful pig trotters the best part.

      I thought the thin slices in the broth were fennel, but I have no basis for that other than it looks like fennel to me.

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      Xinh Xinh
      7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

      1. I love it! I always have a hard time choosing between the bún bò Huế and the phở đặc biệt at Xinh Xinh because they're both so good.

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        Xinh Xinh
        7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

        1. After craving bun bo hue for a month or so now, I decided to trek through rain to Chinatown first thing in the morning. I was debating whether to go to my usual Pho Pasteur haunt, where the bun bo hue is reliable and delicious, but decided to give Xinh Xinh a second try when I found this post.

          I love Pho Pasteur's with the lemongrass floating in the soup that is spicy enough for my taste. Xinh Xinh's isn't quite as spicy and salty, and I ended indulging in more Sriracha sauce. However, they do add pork meat cake to their broth, along with a bigger than usual trotter [my favorite part also]. I usually get my bun bo hue with pho noodles, but was a bit disappointed when they were served clumped together. At least I didn't have the MSG attack I do when I go to Pho Pasteur.

          Interesting that Pho Viet was listed as one of the top banh mi and bun bo hue places -- I used to live a block away from Super88. I thought Pho Viet was passable for a Vietnamese pho place, and they sometimes served the bun bo hue I am addicted to. However, I have never tried their banh mi, which was my cheap lunch staple when I worked in Chinatown on weekends. I guess I will have to go back and give it a try.

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          Xinh Xinh
          7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

          Pho Viet
          1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

          Pho Pasteur Restaurant
          682 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111

          3 Replies
          1. re: shirshir

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bun_Bo_Hue

            shirshir, plse share how you tackle this dish. need to learn how to eat these various noodle soups. (Udon is a regular dish for us to make but i wouldn't want guests to have to see the mess i make.)

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              Hah! You flatter me but thank you Of course, our resident food critic MC Slim JB has also commented, and he usually is the one educating all of us.

              I just stick to my usual spicy lemongrass bun bo hue, or venture towards the pho bo vien [beef ball noodle soup] when I am not as hungry. Unlike others who get the dac biet [special] or the xe lua [the "train" which is the extra large] both with everything, I am somewhat of a purist in what ingredients go in a bowl all at once. This is for Vietnamese cuisine and all these soup noodle bowls are usually with the flat rice noodles, the pho noodles, with the exception of the bun bo hue, which is round and a little more slippery for my taste. I am not big on the bun which is the vermicelli -- I love soups.

              I also am a big fan of the korean kim chi ramyun noodles, which Allston has a pretty good selection of. I love Color...they're ramen soups are amazing, the atmosphere casual and the prices very reasonable.

              Second to the spicy soups, I will also indulge in Japanese ramen at Men Tei Noodle House in the Back Bay, or Sapporo in Porter Exchange. Men Tei's fried pork cutlet ramen will leave you dreaming about it for days, and you will end up going back for me. Sweet, crispy and tender pork...yum...

              1. re: shirshir

                The discussion of how to properly eat Vietnamese soup noodle dishes has been moved to General Chowhounding Topics. You can find the thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780689