Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vietnam's Pho

Oh, Pho.  You are so perfect on a cold day.

I can't take the sudden change to cold weather.  I love fall weather, but now it's getting to that time of year when it's TOO cold.  Brrrrr.  The furnace can't be turned up high enough for me to get warm.  My skin is drying out.  I have to use the remote starter on my car every morning.

Pho is the answer.

I had missed going in to the Strip District throughout October due to my busy schedule, and I was itching to go again soon.  James agreed to accompany me, and he suggested getting pho for lunch.

Pho warms you up.  Pho makes you sweat.  It was a perfect solution.

We had already tried Pho Van last year and had become fans, so now he wanted to take me to the other end of Penn Avenue to Vietnam's Pho to compare.  No problem there.

Vietnam's Pho
When we walked in, I was overwhelmed by the smell of bleach.  Not so much when you walk into the area of an indoor swimming pool - in fact, that may have been a bit less abrasive.  It was obvious that they had cleaned with bleach recently - good to know that the place was clean - BUT, seriously, the smell was giving me a headache.  I tried to overcome it and focus on the food.

To drink, James suggested trying a Bubble Tea - AND one of the Bubble Tea options was taro, a root that Food Collage had introduced me to, and to which I have been hooked ever since!  I can't even describe the taste, but it's awesome:

Taro Bubble Tea
And this Bubble Tea did NOT disappoint.  The "bubbles" are actually tapioca balls that are chewy and come right up through the unusually thick straw.  The taro flavor was amazing, and I am SO glad that James talked me in to getting one (and it was making up for the bleach smell immensely)!

We ordered the spring rolls for an appetizer.  I always feel good about eating them, because they're so...clean-feeling.  I guess that's the best way to describe it.  Very simple, fresh ingredients, with a delicious peanut sauce.  A perfect appetizer:

Spring Rolls
For our entree, we both chose Pho Tai, which is beef pho.  Just as we had at Pho Van, bean sprouts, jalapenos, and basil accompanied the steaming bowl of broth, beef, noodles, and veggies to make the pho your own.  Chili sauce and hoisin sauce were also on the table, and James added much more of those than I did.

Pho Tai
I was definitely warmed up after eating the pho, even to the point of overheating.  Sweating, even.  My nose was running, and the flavors lingered in my mouth.  It's fair to say that my pho experience at Vietnam's Pho was comparable to that at Pho Van down the street - delicious, flavorful, and satisfying. Basically, no matter which end of Penn Avenue I end up at in the Strip District, great pho is never far away...

Vietnam's Pho
1627 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)

Vietnam's Pho on Urbanspoon

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