Everyone loves talking about pho whether they can pronounce it correctly or not (sounds like “fuh”). It’s a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, linguini-shaped rice noodles and mixed with herbs and usually meat. It’s much lighter and less rich than ramen which has that deep pork flavor. Pho Bang Restaurant, down in Little Italy, couldn’t have been a more pleasant experience for my first time attacking pho. Not only is this the cheapest meal with the most amount of food you will ever have dining out, but it’s all delightful and so exciting once your dishes finally hit the table. Luckily, I had a Vietnamese pro to guide me through the menu. We started with the beef lettuce wraps, or as they call it Bahn Hoi Thit Bo Lui. This is for all you DIY lovers out there. They send out a plate of about 10 cylinder shaped beef rolls with a plate of lettuce big enough to roll the beef in, carrots and onions as topping, and their special sauce- because what’s a lettuce wrap without special sauce, people? They also give you some unknown (to me) rice thread to throw on in there. Next, we got the Curry Chicken with Bread. That just sound delicious doesn’t it? The chicken is severed in a bowl, and it almost looks like a soup. It’s on the bone, and I would most likely order it again. Dip your baguette into the sauce, make a sandwich or eat it sans carbs – the options are quite endless here.
The Sautéed Cubed Beef Steak Served on a bed of greens with tomatoes created a circus party in my mouth. I loved this beef. It is sweet, tender, addicting and easy to just keep popping back. It’s not as saucy as Chinese food as you don’t see any grease residue sitting on the plate. It’s also served on top of a bed of lettuce not rice, but it still has that sweet/teriyaki/soy flavoring that I’m down with. I will award this the honorable mention dish because the Beef Pho took away the gold. This soup which is less than $10 and fed four of us (along with the other dishes first, of course) is a bowl of happiness just waiting to touch the lives of others. The light broth with scallions has probably been simmering in herbs for hours, and when it’s cold outside, I can’t imagine anything else that would make you feel more warm and fuzzy inside than this. It’s like a Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup. The thin cut of beef doesn’t add much to the taste for me- maybe because the beef steak beforehand was such a treat. You use chopsticks to pick up the rice noodles and place into your individual bowl and use the larger spoon to pour in the broth. Definitely go for the sriracha and add some spice to your life. I want to eat this everyday in the winter.
We walked out of there probably forking over $15 in cash each (CASH ONLY). How nice is that? Pho Bang it!