Looking for best pho around
i don't care where it is but wanting to know where ever ones fav place to get it is. I don't like to spend a huge amount as it is supposed to be a reasonable price (under $8) if it cost more than that it better be Kobe beef in there. Wanting to know best broth and meat in relation to price. Does not have to be downtown or surrounding area just king county is what I am looking for. I am not liking to pay 8 bucks for fake broth and tough meat at the chains, I want quality!
im sure everyone has their favorites and their own way of eating pho. i have a certain methodology of rating pho places here and when i lived down in OC.
skip the next paragraph on my methodology to get to my personal favs.
I would order my pho tai raw on the side and have my broth extra hot. this way i can see better how much beef to noodle ratio i'm getting, the condition and quality of the rare beef (is it frozen? is it a good color?), and plus i get the added benefit of medium rare beef in pho. Broth. I look for beef particles in the broth and also the amount of "sheen" on the broth to see if a pho place actually makes their broth or makes it off of bouillion. I'll take a few sip of the unadulterated broth to taste the richness of the broth before adding any mixins.
Tips: I tend to lean towards pho restaurants with the first word in their name as Pho and their second word either a viet word or a number.
Broth is strongest in the morning as pho is traditionally a breakfast item. During the course of the day, I suspect that they just keep adding water over the course of the day.
Be aware of any 24 Hour Pho places. I've had them... 90% of them are horrible.
My Pho Recs
Pho Cyclo: love their Pho Ga, its good white meat chicken on teh side so it avoids "boiling" in the broth.
Pho Bac: very rich (read: phatty) broth. first Pho place in seattle (they opened and were bean sprouts clients from my family so i started eating Pho back in the early 80s). Pink building and the one downtown.
Pho Van: Rainier Valley. Havent been there in a long while, but it's in a converted Burger King. Their broth is a bit sweeter than most and who doesnt love their Happy Cow Logo?
Green Leaf: a little bit pricier, but good all around pho and cleaner than most. (i love this place more for
Pho Cyclo Cafe
406 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102
9150 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
Moonlight Cafe on 20th & Jackson has incredible broth. It's your general secret hole-in-the-wall type joint.
Pho Pasteur in Everett
The Than Brothers in Redmond is actually pretty decent.
Pho Vietnam (multiple locations)
What the Pho
Any place that also sells "Thai" and/or teriyaki.
Pho Express in Kirkland
My favorite is at Rainier and Henderson, called Pho Van.
I've had to learn while eating pho here and at other places, however, to NOT consume the stock the pho is cooked in if I don't want to get diarrhea immediately.
The beef, noodles, and vegetables are alright. The stock, however, has something in it my system rejects utterly. Probably salt.
So I enjoy pho, I just don't drink lots of the stock.
9150 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
We recently discovered Papaya (Renton Landing and I think there's one in Crossroads too). It looks gentrified (clean, some money actually spent on the design/furnishings of the space, no sticky sauces at the tables) but we found the food to be of a very high quality and delicious. My husband swears by the oxtail Pho. The broth has depth. The ingredients are fresh.
It is also more expensive, but to be able to bring my kid to a place where I don't need to Clorox wipe the whole place down, it's worth the couple of extra bucks per bowl.
I've never been impressed by anything at the Crossroads food court, but now I'll have to at least try these guys.
There's a new place in Kirkland called Pho Mignon, where their signature dish is sliced filet mignon in pho. Too bad they literally water down everything there - very little herbs and spices in the soup. Even the sriracha in the generic ketchup bottle tasted suspiciously watered down. But they seemed to be attracting a nice gathering of the local Lexus SUV-driving hausfraus, so they must be targeting their market correctly.
I haven't tried the Crossroads location and didn't realize it was in the food court. The Renton location mentions it on the menu. So since it's food court, I can't imagine the setting as pleasant. But I'd hope the food is as good. I really like their noodle bowls and haven't moved on to the pho yet. But winter is just around the corner.
I don't know if it's the best around, but I was impressed by the new Pho Big Bowl in Ballard on Market Street. The broth is way better than Than Bros, imo, although it doesn't have a parking lot which makes take-out more challenging than from Than Bros. A note, though - they really are big bowls. Look at the sizes by the door so you don't end up with twice as much food as you can eat like I did. All pho orders come with a soda or mango pudding (we got sodas and were too full to try the pudding anyway).