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Pho water question

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I've been doing another pho tour in the Reston/Herndon/Centerville area over the past few weeks. Ordering basically the same dish with a drink of ice water.

I've noticed that a few places have bad tasting water in the glass, but the pho is still good (so far all the places have done well on the pho specifically). But if the water in the glass is better at some places, and worse others, shouldn't that translate to the pho? What am I missing - over seasoning, cooking off of minerals, what?

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  1. Some never wash the pitcher that they pour your glass of water from.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MikeR

      Oh wow - hadn't thought of that aspect.

    2. Yeah, I noticed that in MD and VA.
      Now, what were the better Pho places?

      1 Reply
      1. re: RobertM

        So far I've only done four on this latest round.

        Pho Reston 75 is still my favorite on pretty much all counts; ambiance, broth, service (they give me extra jalapenos no question no charge). The fatty brisket actually has some meat on it rather than being all fat. And the drinking water always tastes good.

        Pho 75 in Herndon (unrelated of course) - the "standard". Very good - decent broth, gave me an extra glass of hot water instead of jalapenos, fatty brisket mainly fat. The drinking water here was off.

        Pho 2000 at Worldgate. Expected to be disappointed but it was good. Good service, good broth, no extra jalapenos, fatty brisket in the middle of the last two. Bad water also (also in Herndon, which prompted my question).

        Super Pho at McLearen and Centreville roads. Decent service. Okay ambiance, though it seemed they tried too hard on this point and in doing so failed slightly. Thin broth, fatty brisket also in the middle as Pho 2000, very few of the side additions and extras seemed to be an upcharge or out of the question (slight language barrier). Water was fine. They did have an extra spice they bring, which is very spicy hot. I didn't go for the flavor of it too much, but a touch of it in the broth over time mellowed to a decent taste (I added it about halfway through and let it mellow after the first taste or two). I should try this again and add the spice earlier.

        Next on the list is the one in the Herndon clock tower; unsure after that. Basically I'm getting 1-2 nights per week to go explore, but it's sort of a last minute verdict whether the scenario works out for me to go.