I went to Pho Bac in Elmhurst for the 2nd time tonight. The first time, which I believe was some time last summer or late spring, was a huge, wonderful blowout meal as part of a party of 5. Today, we were 4 people and ordered less, but still plenty.
6. Small order of Cha Gio (Spring Rolls)
These were just as delicious as last time, so flavorful and so different from average spring rolls.
16. Large order of Goi Du Du Tom Thit (Shrimp & Pork W. Green Papaya Salad)
This was very nice. We had wanted the salad with beef jerky, but they were out of beef jerky.
25. Large order of Pho Tai Gau (Combination rice noodles, beef soup with rare beef and brisket)
This is so far superior to average Manhattan Pho that it almost tastes like something completely different. It was so aromatic with cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, and probably other spices I couldn't isolate. The hot sauce in the plastic bottle only improved it further.
47. Com Suon Nuong (Grilled Pork Chop on Rice)
This was fantastic, wonderful, and just plain great! :-) The pork chop was so flavorful, and slightly caramelized. The banh mi at this place must be delicious!
84. Muc Xao Cai Chua (Squid Sautéed w. Sour Mustard Greens)
Sadly, this was a clinker. None of us liked it much. My brother found it unpleasantly fishy, and I thought it was way too salty to eat. Some was left over at the end.
121. Ga Xao Xa Ot (Chicken Lemongrass - boneless chicken sautéed with lemongrass, onion, & hot chili sauce)
This was somewhat salty but delicious! It was the only genuinely spicy dish we got, flecked with bits of dried hot pepper, redolent with pulverized lemongrass. Really good dish.
Overall, except for the squid dish, another very good, very worthwhile meal.
We followed up with a visit to Al-Naimat in Jackson Heights for sweets, which I have posted about separately: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/755657
82-78 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373