I suppose if I’d remembered to take a picture of the outside, I wouldn’t have this problem. I would actually remember the name. Well, forgive me, because I am going through my old pictures, the ones that I never got around to posting, and trying to post them now, since, well, I am at a loss for what to post. As I said, I am desperately trying to save money and have not been cooking nor eating out (I’m eating… it’s a long, personal story that I won’t get into) so have a huge lack of things to post.
In any case, many many many moons ago, BB, who works right next door to me, and I decided to trek to Chinatown for lunch. It’s not far geographically, but the way the trains run, it can take a good 20 minutes to get there and even then, you’d still need to walk to get to a good place to eat. It must’ve been a cold and/or rainy day, because nearly nothing beats pho on a rainy/cold day. (The only thing that does, in my opinion, is jhuk, but that’s another post for another day.)
Of course, the problem is, having grown up in Queens and loveloveloving the pho from Pho Bang in Elmhurst (and don’t ask me why only that one; the one in Flushing, in my un-humble opinion, sucks ass, and the ones in Manhattan that I’ve been to are sorry excuses as well!), and the bun… it’s been hard finding a comparable place in Chinatown. I could rant about the reasons why some places have sucked, but you would all probably run for the hills screaming. So I won’t.
First: what is pho? Pronounced fuh, pho is a traditional Vietnamese staple, the recipe varies from family to family (I wasn’t a huge fan of my ex’s mother’s version, though it was still delicious, just not the one I would crave) and restaurant to restaurant. It’s basically a bowl of vermicelli noodles served in a pork broth – generally the broth is simmered for hours upon hours in a big stock pot, with pork bones and aromatics and all sorts of yummy goodness that makes this very clear but tasty broth to float noodles in. Your additions can vary; the standard comes with thinly sliced beef plopped on top, raw. The broth is so hot it will cook the meat provided you push it down into your bowl of noodles.
I’ve been back to this place quite a few more times since this first time, and have been pleased with their version. It is meaty, soothing, hearty and definitely will warm you down to your bones on a cold day. Of course, on a really truly cold day, I’m not sure I’d travel to Chinatown to pick this up, but ah well. At around $5 a bowl, this is a bargain and a half.
Our appetizer that first time was the summer roll, shrimp with vermicelli wrapped in rice noodle with Thai basil and a peanut dipping sauce. Though I’m not a huge fan of shrimp, I just love this appetizer for the peanut sauce. Yummy! (I think this dish is only $3-4, too.)
As for bun, a cold noodle salad dish… I’ll just have to show you another time.
Now for the matter of the place… I believe it is this place. I do know, however, that if you walk up Baxter Street from Canal, it is on the left. As you’re facing the two side-by-side Vietnamese restaurants, it is the one on the left, closer to Canal Street. (I have been to the other one and was severely disappointed.) Cheap, fast, and yummy- all you could hope for from a Chinatown lunch!
Yvo says: Hello, great deal, filling, and delicious! Absolutely go here if you’re in the area and want yummy Vietnamese food!
above average recommended