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Restaurants & Bars 15

Pho Tank - Yes

mrbarolo | Dec 15, 2003 11:34 PM

Let me add another voice to the chorus of approbation for the newish Tank Noodle or Pho Tank on Argyle.

I'm not a Pho connoisseur by any means, but when my 3 year old is sick, as he is at the moment, I religiously seek a steaming bowl as a restorative for both parents and child.

I ordered very conservatively this evening, seeking comfort over adventure. A plain chicken rice congee and the #43 Pho - well done flank, rare beef, no tripe or tendon.

First, the orders were ready in about 5 minutes as opposed to the usual, somewhat inexplicable 15-20.

The simple congee was wonderful. The soup had a wonderful roasted, nutty aroma which I assume had to do either with the type of rice or the way it was treated prior to inclusion in the soup. Also, the grains had clearly been chopped up, which I don't recall noticing before. Can anyone comment on whether this is SOP?

In any case, the broth was clear but very rich and flavorful and thoroughly inviting. The chicken was all breast meat, an unexpected catering to American preference. Personally, I would have been happier to see some thigh in there, but it's hard to imagine improving on the overall flavor.

The Pho was also pristine. Nothing oily or murky, just richness with a strong, but not overbalancing cinnamon note. The incredibly thin slices of rare (i.e.raw) beef were pristine. The packets of condiments were also the crispest and freshest I've seen. Not a brown leaf or wilted sprout to be seen.

Questions: does anyone know what the long saw-toothed leaf was along with the basil? I couldn't place it.

Also, there was a thick slice of something very rubbery and transluscent included which was not part of the menu description. Definitely not an errant piece of tripe, and didnt' seem like tendon in shape. Any ideas?

All in all, really good stuff.

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