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Help me take my Pho experience up a level

I have been eating Pho for at least 15 years but except for the one time I tried chicken pho (blah) I have only orderd a bowl with flank steak as the meat. Give me a plan for working up to a new level. I can't go to tripe and tendon right away.

I live in the D.C. area and we have pretty good pho around here.

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  1. The next logical step would be the brisket or fatty brisket...I usually have both along with eye or round steak. I have had the tendon and the tripe and it just doesn't do it for me. The brisket though (and yes, a little fat) really raises the level of beefy flavor in the soup. OK, I guess I know whats for lunch now!



    1. GO right to tendon. (Forgive the usually overused words you ar eabout to see, but they fit...) The unctuous, fatty mouuth feel--with great beefy flavor and texture--is not to be missed. You will not regret it. Want some now.


      1. Make the jump. Order a special with all the meats. Try them. The textures are fabulous. It's not something to work up to if you haven't tried them in 15 years. It's time to just do it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JMF

          I totally agree! Get the house special with the beef balls, tendon, tripe and rare beef (or whatever if comes with). The worst thing that can possibly happen is that you aren't crazy about it and you don't order it again. At least this way, you will be able to taste everything all in one shot and next time you order, you will be able to customize your soup with your favourite bits!

          1. re: icey

            I can't even think what I would be missing if I left anything out of my pho. My only "issue" is I can't eat the onion, although I have them simmer in the soup for its flavor before taking them out. I LOVE tripe and tendon.

        2. Yes, you can go to tendon and tripe and meatballs right away. It's a $7 lunch. If you don't like it, you can always grab a slice of pizza.

          1. I immediately went to tripe and tendon when I first started eating pho but have since backed away to brisket. The fattier the better.

            1. Just do it. Just get one with everything.

              If you can't, even after 15 years of eating phở, you probably never will.

              1 Reply
              1. re: huiray

                thanks all. I will just go for it. Maybe not the tripe-but everything else. MMMMMMM

              2. What is it about tripe that puts you off so? The tripe I've had in pho restaurants is always very very clean, no funky tripe-y taste, not really any taste at all, just a nice kind of crunchy texture.

                2 Replies
                1. re: babette feasts

                  Not answering for the OP, but I wonder if it is the idea of it being a piece of the cow's stomach that is off-putting to the OP and to others similarly disposed - i.e. the mental imagery of it. Just speculating.

                  Cocoagirl, if this might be so - perhaps you might consider that sausages are made using intestines as the casing...

                  1. re: babette feasts

                    As for tripe. As you said, it has no taste at all, and that's the point. If you don't like that particular slightly crunchy slightly chewy texture, give it a pass. But tendon, that's one of my favorites. I've found here in SF that some places don't cook it enough to give it that melt in your mouth texture, so try it at a couple other restaurants if you don't like it the first time.

                    Cocoagirl, don't they serve pho with beef balls or rare beef in DC? Those are yummy and not particularly challenging. Like icey says, get the special with the works and see what you like.

                  2. I also make my pho as spicy as possible. I put the sliced jalapenos in the bowl as soon as it arrives and add a healthy dose of chili garlic sauce. My head is usally spinning a bit when I'm done but that's how I love to eat it. Clears my sinuses for the rest of the day.

                    1. Just dive in and go for everything. I hate when I get a bowl of pho with the works and it's missing tendon and tripe. Every time I ask why it's missing the answer is "sorry, white people don't like that stuff." Ugh.

                      1. Just get a bowl w/ the works. Force yourself to try it. I'm not a fan of tripe. I prefer eye of round, flank, skirt, brisket, and fatty brisket. I've had tendon. There's a really good place in the Eden center that only serves pho a few doors down from Song Que. Go there and you won't be disappointed.

                        1. If you do go, go to a place that cuts ingredients finely or ask them to. Really great and not scary in small amounts.