Is there such a thing as bad Pho? It's been my experience that there is either good Pho or really, really good Pho and now I feel like I've had both. My local Pho destination is good. It's satisfying and totally hits the spot when I have a craving for that hot mess of noodley deliciousness packed into a bowl. But then I tasted really, really good Pho and I'm having a hard time thinking of anything else.
I had mentioned before that Chinatown is sort of a new experience for me. For years I hadn't really taken the time to explore it, honestly out of intimidation and unfamiliarity but as I feel myself growing as a culinary professional I find that I'm eager to be even more adventurous and I crave that thrill of trying something new. Since Chinatown is relatively new territory for me, I had asked my readers to give me some advice on where to go and was thrilled at the response I got. Lots of suggestions (thanks!) and I've added numerous new places on my "have to go to list".
My Chinatown destination and food selection was rather pedestrian and not something I'd classify as exotic by today's standards but that didn't stop it from being good. Oh my was it good. Sitting at Pho Pasteur, a frosty cold Vietnamese beer at my side and a bowl full of screaming hot Pho, packed with shreds of roasted chicken, delicately thin noodles and dotted with bright, fresh cilantro and scallions, I couldn't help but feel giddy. So this is what great Pho is all about? All of the flavors that were floating around in that bowl were so crisp, clean and incredibly fresh. Served up alongside the usual accompaniments of fresh lime wedges, Thai basil and an assortment of sauces (my favorite part) I found myself in total Pho heaven.
This is worth the trip to Chinatown and one place I plan to return to again and again. I loved the bright atmosphere and the simple pleasure of some seriously good Pho. That being said, I'm going to pose another question: Have you ever been to Pho Pasteur and if yes, is there another spot that you think stacks up even higher? Let's get the discussion going. I'm obsessed.