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Vietnamese, Again And Again

It was an extremely cold weekend. And extremely cold weekends call for a little pho action. Sunday night – dinner at Pho Ha. I had me some delicious hot pho, J had some grilled chicken on broken rice. And of course, an order of the summer rolls. The rolls weren’t the freshest, but still good. My pho? Great, as usual. And the grilled chicken on broken rice? Well, I happen to think that Pho Ha has the best broken rice dish by far, and the chicken is the best. EVER. If you’re gonna order broken rice at Pho Ha, you have to get the chicken. Just trust me. And the chicken portion is just ridiculous.

I had lunch with my colleague on Monday before our visit to Comcast (btw, the Comcast building is PHAT and the marketplace in the basement is as dreamy as they claim). We stopped by Nam Phuong. I’d never been here because I tend to go to the divier vietnamese joints on Washington Ave. The place is really huge, and a bit on the nicer side. They actually have tablecloths and stuff, that’s how nice it is.

I got the broken rice with roast pork, M got the vermicelli bowl with chicken, and we also got a vietnamese crepe. Everything was good. Nothing spectacular, but very good standard vietnamese fare. Something I especially did like about this place was that instead of little paltry sticks of the pickled carrot and daikon, there were big slices of it, and plenty of it. I have to give them props for that. I haven’t had a crepe in awhile, but I enjoyed it and as it is typical, it was ginormous. Just plain huge. It could feed a couple of people as a meal in itself. Their vermicelli bowls get fairly herb-y, being heavy on the mint and cilantro side, if that’s your thing.

The service was a bit noticeably slow here. In some of the more no frills joints, the food comes out super fast. Here, it probably came out normal fast. And since it was a vietnamese place, it was a bit of a departure. As far as vietnamese places go, the speed of the food is definitely slow. The prices aren’t higher though. So if you want a bit more atmosphere, it’s a nice option. [Sorry for no pics, but sometimes, I just want to eat and not bother with all the camera shenanigans.]

Pho Ha
610 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 599-0264

Pho Duc

You know I love me some pho. And on a particularly cold evening, I decided to warm myself up by having a giant bowl of pho.
I always like to order the fresh spring rolls just to see what I’m in for. You know if you get a hard spring roll, clearly not made fresh to order, you may be in for some bad news. This was the first time I’d ever had a roll which had open ends. In reality, I guess there’s no real reason to have to fold over the ends. It actually makes for quite nice presentation. While the roll was quite nice, and definitely fresh, the sauce was very different. Instead of the typical hoisin based sauce with a little peanut taste, this one was warm and pretty much just peanutty. While not bad, it was just not what I was expecting, and I much prefer the traditional hoisin based sauce. There was just something strange about it, and the fact that it was warm also put me off a little bit. Putting a cold roll into warm sauce just seemed wrong! But like I said, the roll itself was fantastic.
For the pho, I went with my standard, which is flank steak. I stay away from the innards, and usually just stick with the flank. I quite enjoyed this soup a lot. For a small bowl, it was plenty for me. The broth was meaty and strong enough, not bland at all. And the meat was hearty. And everything was just a big ol bargain. The service was good and the staff was very friendly. You can tell it’s a family-run joint, and they knew a lot of patrons by name. If you have regulars, that’s always a great sign. It’s tucked away right next to the convention center, so stop by next time you’re over that way.

Pho Duc Restaurant
3815 196th St SW
Lynnwood, WA 98036
(425) 672-2466
Pho Duc Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Pho On A Frozen Day

This weekend was a particularly frigid one. We wanted to go to NYC for the day for my birthday, but the freezing ass temperatures put the kibosh on it. As much as I like wandering around the streets of new york, I don’t like doing it in sub freezing temperatures. So with that plan on hold, we stayed in town and stopped by Pho & Cafe Viet Huong for some steamy vittles. I was in the mood for some spice, so I went with the pho bo kho. It was just what I wanted. I just wish there was more stewed meat in it and less joint/knuckle stuff. I know plenty of people who enjoy eating the knuckley jointy bits of the cow (and by plenty of people I mean my mom, her friends, and my grandmom), but it doesn’t really do it for me. It’s just kind of gelatenous and flavorless. I’m much more into the fleshy bits.
J got a ho fun with beef and vegetables dish. He was hoping for more veggies beyond just onions and sprouts. It was still good, but when someone reads vegetables, they imagine perhaps some broccoli, maybe a carrot or two. Maybe another time.

Something intrigued us during this visit. While we were eating, we kept hearing this “ding dong” doorbell type sound every so often. Not all the time, not on a regular interval, but just occasionally, randomly, a ding dong. We couldn’t see anything directly causing the ding dong, nor could we see anything happen as a direct result of the ding dong. Unless someone can enlighten us, it shall remain a mystery.

Pho & Cafe Viet Huong
1110 Washington Ave # 2A
Philadelphia, PA

Pho & Cafe Viet Huong on Urbanspoon

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