For those who don't know about pho (my keyboard won't do the Vietnamese-specific accents), it is a Viet rice noodle soup composed of broth, your choice of meats (meatballs, lean round beef, flank, tendon, tripe, etc.). as well as cilantro and onions. The eater can season his bowl of soup to his preference with more cilantro, mint, lime, chile peppers, bean sprouts, etc..
So, what's your favorite pho places around Houston? Here are mine - most are clustered in midtown because that's generally where I have been around lunch time:
- Pho Saigon. This is my default go-to place for pho in Houston. Reliable, tasty, always satisfying
- Pho Nga (small place on Milam, family-owned and operated). I like that the slices of brisket in the pho here are nice and thick and well-cooked through. Tasty broth!
- Thien An. A smaller sandwich (banh mi) shop - I've tried their pho a couple of times, found it to be good, but the broth is a little 'off' flavor to me.
- Van Loc. It has been a while since I've been here, but from my recollection, they put out a decent bowl of pho, but more Americanized than the places above.
- Mai's. Of course they're not open right now, but this used to be my go-to place for late night pho, after chorus rehearsal. Americanized, like Van Loc, but a reliable product.
- Hollywood. About the only thing that Hollywood's pho has to recommend itself is that it is open late after the bars close. Pho tai was way overcooked, almost inedible, broth was ok but definitely nothing to write home about.
Places that I have on my list to try:
- Pho Binh
- Pho Ga Dakao - I just read about this place in the Houston Press and it's gone on my to-try list
both places are way off of my beaten path, but I've heard enough good about them that I'm going to make the trip.
I usually order pho tai nam (rare lean round steak and medium-well brisket), Sometimes, I'll order the round steak raw on the side and dump it into the bowl at the table. Doing this makes the broth even richer and tastier! I typically season my pho with basil, lime and jalapeno slices and put hoisin and sriracha sauces in a small bowl to the side for dipping.
Van Loc Restaurant
3010 Milam St, Houston, TX 77006
2021 Mangum Rd, Houston, TX 77092
Pho Ga Dakao
11778 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77072
2929 Milam St Ste C, Houston, TX 77006
7400 W Tidwell Rd Ste A, Houston, TX 77040