Pho 88 - Charming Gem of A Find -- Yes, It Can Be Done Right!
The Pho 88 Restaurant, 1270 Westford Street, Lowell, Massachusetts, Pistol Plaza in Drum Hill. The Restaurant is also right next to Drum Hill Ford. Had the pleasure of a late mid-afternoon lunch based on some fellow workers who spoke well of this hidden gem. My DC & I had a posted daily appetizer of a shrimp dish, battered and deep fried with a sweet white glaze sauce drizzled over the shrimp. YUM!
Goi Cuon, served with a spicy peanut sauce rounded out the initial round of treats with chilled beer pilsners for the 33 beer served ice cold.
Next on the list: # 14 XE LUA The largest bowl of beef noodle soup with all the usual add ins. Clean, crisp, bright, broth different from the broth my DC & I have become used from our many haunts of previous experience in the Dorchester extended area. The same can be said for the white pho noodles which were of a much more and enjoyable chewy texture. Full of assorted beef necessary for this dish. Each table has sitting in advance its own condiment unit without the need to ask for the single one passed around in some other restaurants.
The best was left for last to share with our fellow chowhounds. Every member of the staff and we spoke to several, were delightfully equally easy to speak with and ask questions of and receive answers from! To the:"See you next time Guys!" shouted to us as we left already talking out how soon we could come back!
I had the the large Beef Pho (#14 Xe Lua) for lunch today and it comes with everything. No reason to get anything smaller since now you can eat yourself silly and still have a meal left. You can see the rare flank (commonly spelled frank in most restaurants) between the wisps of steam. Well done brisket is in there as well as tendon and tripe. The broth had a lot of star anise taste almost too much for me but overall this was an excellent Pho and no holding back for the white guy! They also (still) have the best looking waitresses around..
Your experience at Pho 88 mirrors mine completely. They were nice to me when I have eaten alone. They were nice to me when I brought my entire family of 8. I found the food to be delicious. Everyone found something that they liked. Now that I don't have a Lowell client, I don't get there as often as I would like.
And your photos are beautiful.