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Vietnam: Pho 24

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When planning to go to Vietnam, I had two major foods I wanted to eat as much of as possible: pho and banh mi sandwiches. Our trip to Cambodia didn't leave us as much time to explore as I'd hoped, so my pho exploration was limited to a couple visits to Pho 24, one of the local pho chains around Saigon.

I'm sure there are a million varieties of pho to be had around Vietnam, much of which may be better than what I had here, but I can say honestly that this was the best I've ever had.

Pho 24 Menu

The menu at Pho 24 listed plenty of options including different varieties of pho, hot pot and broken rice

I went there twice and ordered the Pho All both times. That would be the one that includes beef fillet, flank, fatty brisket, soft tendon, tripe, muscle, well done brisket and meatballs. Y'know, ALL.

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Pretty much the only pho I had ever had had been in Midtown at either Pho 32 or Golden City, which I've always enjoyed but have been told over and over again just aren't a shadow of genuine pho.

Turns out they were totally right. The flavor is the same, it's a clear beefy stock, but the intensity is entirely different. Where the broth is just has the scent of beef at the places I had been, it was powerful and rich here.

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A pile of Thai basil and sprouts and peppers come on the side for additional flavoring. I always skip the sprouts, but the chilies and the fragrant basil leaves got tossed in.

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On my second visit, I decided to get the raw egg add-on. Dropped into the hot soup, the egg cooks within a couple minutes adding another texture to the mix.

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Tammi had the chicken pho, which was lighter and, well, chickenier. It was good and she preferred it to my giant bowl of richness, but I was absolutely happy with what I got.

I won't say that having real pho in Vietnam has ruined me for the lesser versions of it back at home, but it has certainly given me some perspective. Now, in addition to seeking out more banh mi shops around New York, I'll be hunting down pho as well



Comments

How much was each bowl? Someone told me that it's like $3. =P

I don't know why but west coast Pho is SO much yummier to me.

Pho Bang in Elmhurst is pretty decent. =)

Thanks for the tip, exploring Queens has been on my list of to-dos for years now. It's just so inconvenient from Brooklyn.

As for the price, it was about $3 US. Two bowls, a coffee and a beer, plus tip totaled out to just about $10US. It was pretty great.

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