Why more people should add “pho” to their vocabulary

In Dinner, Dish Review, Lunch, Rebecca Adams, Restaurant Review, Vietnamese on November 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm


The pho ga from Pho Danh. Photo by Rebecca Adams


By Rebecca Adams

I am by no means a Vietnamese cuisine expert but I know the joys of a good bowl of pho.  For those of you who are not familiar with the Vietnamese noodle soup, it’s usually served with beef or chicken and rice noodles with a side of basil, lime, bean sprouts and peppers.  I was first introduced to this dish in Los Angeles while visiting my parents, so I’ve been on the lookout for some good pho here in Austin.  Lucky for me, I found Pho Danh after many personal recommendations and a long drive up N Lamar Blvd.

The key to a good bowl of pho is the broth, which is supposed to simmer for a few hours with beef bones, oxtails, flank steak, charred onion and spices.  I ended up ordering the chicken pho (pho ga) but I could taste all of these flavors in the rich broth at Pho Danh.  There was a nice noodle to soup ratio and more than enough of the trimmings for me to add as much as I please.


All the pho trimmings and the peanut sauce at Pho Danh. Photo by Rebecca Adams


I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the chicken though.  I got both light and dark meet but they both tasted fresh, not at all questionable (I’ve had some bad meat-related pho experiences…).  I also started with the tofu spring rolls.  They were light and simple, without any mint to overpower the peanut sauce on the side.  The best part had to be the speed of the place.  My dish was out less than 3 minutes after I uttered the phrase “I’ll have the pho ga with light and dark meat please” to my waitress, which made up for the 20 minute drive up N Lamar that it took to get there from campus.

Pho Danh
11220 N Lamar Blvd, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78753

  1. I’ve never heard of Pho before. I’m not much of a soup person, but I’m always interested in trying foods of other cultures. Was this filling? I always feel like soup, especially Asian soups, tend to be less dense and are more like side dishes.

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