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San Jose Blossom Valley Pho, Part 1: Pho My

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San Jose Blossom Valley Pho, Part 1: Pho My

Alice Patis | Feb 14, 2006 01:12 PM

Because I was mistaken in thinking this place was closed, I went here last week to try the pho. As SanJoseHound also recommended the fried spring rolls (cha gio), I got those as well. Not a coffee drinker, I’m sorry I can’t report on the viet iced coffee.

First of all the service was super duper fast. Last time I was here I was left wondering how long does it take to toss a beef salad while watching the server and food runner walk around and around the restaurant. This time, soon after I placed my order and took out my notebook & camera, my pho was placed down before me. The cha gio came right after that.

The photo below shows the strangely orange cha gio. These were pricey, $5.95 for 4 rolls. They were nicely crunchy, only a bit greasy, with a good filling, but only warm. Since I got them so fast, I don’t think these were re-fried to order. I don’t expect a pho house to make cha gio fried to order, but it would’ve been nice and hot if they re-fried them.

Pho is $5.35 for the decent-sized small. I chose pho tai gau (rare beef and fatty brisket) because I felt like having some fat with my brisket. But there were only 1 or 2 pieces of actual brisket attached to the fat; all the other fatty brisket pieces were pure fat. The 3 pieces of “rare beef” were completely cooked and chewy. The noodles were all clumped in the bottom. Not everything was bad though. The broth had a nice flavor (what my mom calls “pho smell”), but was a tad salty. At this level of saltiness, a good squirt of citrus would’ve made it just right, but the lemon provided was a meyer lemon (!) and I don’t like meyer lemon flavor in pho, so I stuck with salty pho. I think there was a fair amount of MSG (I don’t mind MSG, but the “sweetness” stuck to the back of my tongue long after lunch).

I plan to have pho at the nearby Viet Ville today to compare. I need to refresh my memory of the pho there. It will be interesting to see which is better: the more authentic-looking place (Pho My), or the cater-to-Blossom-Valley-westerners place (Viet Ville).

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