Beef Pho and Limey Lemonade at Little Vietnam [Inner Richmond, SF]
On my way to pick up some kitchen accessories at Kamei, I stopped into Little Vietnam, just around the corner on 6th and close to the Schubert's Bakery princess cake danger zone. The fog had already pulled over the Inner Richmond, so I asked after the five or six types of soups on the menu. The clerk recommended beef pho. While they seem to do more business in sandwiches here, I think the pho is better quality.
I ordered the small, which was pretty large for about $7. With a huge lemonade served in a mason jar, the tab came to $10 with tax. The broth had a heavy star anise flavor, with a hint of sweet onion and a sense of robust fattiness though there was no oil floating in the broth. This is Hue-style, with lots of lemongrass and bone flavor to lift and deepen the broth. Not a ton of meat, though a good selection of cuts. The lemonade had a strong lime flavor and a few mint springs floating in the jar.
Across the street, Aroma tea shop is now advertising cups of tea for carryout--$3 per cup. I bought a bag of my favorite oolong, the sweet, nutty Blue People.
309 6th Avenue (Inner Richmond)
I would send those back ;-). We had a dark period here a while ago when some places started serving pho with lemons because limes increased dramatically in cost but no one skimped on the limes in the "lemonade" or da chanh -- I wonder if there is a regional difference or what accounts for these variations. I must admit I've never been able to get my head around chanh moui (the salty version).