It’s no secret I’ve spent many a post championing the Vietnamese classic, Pho, as one of my favorite dishes of all time. I have also made it clear, my disappointment that in a city with such great culinary choices, the options for my cravings, here in NYC, are limited. Now I know I mentioned enjoying Pho Sure, and have yet to make it out to some of the supposed good options in Queens but sometimes you just have to go back to the source. The source being my good friend who long ago introduced me to Pho.
Since I was back home in Philadelphia I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity. I had the positive experience of Pho Sure fresh in my head and really wanted to see what my comparison would be. Pho Ha, “The House of Pho”, is located on 6th and Washington in South Philly. The atmosphere is casual and authentic. Big tables often shared by many guests are lined with the utensils and accompaniments neccesary for this delicious oxtail beef noodle soup. The menu is simple (if you understand Vietnamese) but don’t worry if you do not. The pictures and the english descriptions do just fine and if your really nervous order a number one or number two (the latter containing brisket along with the thin cut steak). The service is fast and the portions are enormous (in fact I think it was bigger than ever). And for $7 with tax and tip, this meal is more than just rewarding for it’s taste.
But I won’t be overlooking the taste. The broth test (before the addition of siracha) proved successful once again. A light broth that was neither cloudy or oily but with the depth of flavor that I have grown so accustomed to enjoying. Adding a handful of bean sprouts, some fresh thai basil and mint, fresh jalapenos, siracha and a squeeze of lime, I was ready to dig in. This is what Pho should be! I charged ahead and was determined to finish every last drop in order to get my fill before making it back to NY. I knew I wouldn’t be back soon and had to get the full experience. Unfortunately the portion size got the best of me and I was left with a decent amount of the broth, my stomach just wasn’t willing to handle. I was full and happy! My visit home was rewarding in that I was able to get back to one of my favorite places, but disconcerning because if I want the best, I know I won’t be getting here in New York.