Great new Vietnamese place (Pho Real) near UMBC
I was driving around the other day getting lost (like usual) and found a hidden little gem off of route 40 in Catonsville. The sign says Pho Saigon, but the new owners told me they just took over the restaurant a few weeks ago and it's now called Pho Real. I guess the old owners retired and it's now a family owned restaurant. We started talking and the food is definitely authentic because they're originally from Vietnam; incredible story. Anyway, the new name is pretty funny and staff is really friendly. I was in Vietnam earlier this year, and I have to say this is by far the best pho I have ever had. To me, pho tai is the ham and cheese sandwich of a NY Deli. If you can't make that right, then chances are nothing else is going to be very good. It completely blew me away and couldn't stop talking about it. I brought back some friends a few days later and had some summer rolls and Bún bò Huế (totally just googled that spelling!). Everyone has been raving about it and we can't wait to head back soon. Definitely have to check this place out.
I think it's back to Pho Saigon. We went last night on the road back to NYC and it was just terrific. My husband and I split a large pho ga (chicken) and the portions are no joke. The soup came in a huge ceramic bowl that we polished off. We also split bun with grilled shrimp and pork. That was also marvelous. The noodles didn't clump, the pork was not too tough, there was an abundance of vegetables and the fish sauce accented it all perfectly.
It was really clean (always a perk) and in the middle of a barren strip mall. Would happily return.