I stopped in for take-out tonight, motivated by the good review in the Times and the onset of a cold. A nice warm bowl of beefy goodness seemed like just the ticket. I've been riding the bus past Pho Cyclo for months, but it's not near either end of my commute, so I've been passing it by all this time.
The restaurant itself is sort of interesting: very high ceilings and giant murals of Vietnamese city scenes make the place feel enormous, even though it's mashed in with all the other storefronts on 1st Ave South.
I ordered pork banh mi and two orders of pho, one with flank steak, the other with steak and meatballs. I gobbled down half the banh mi on the way to my car--it was fantastic. I've only had banh mi once before, and while it was good, it was nothing to write home about, primarily because the meat was a single slice of the kind of sliced turkey you'd find prepackaged at Safeway. This was entirely different, a marinated pork kebab surrounded by fresh vegetables, cilantro, and a tasty toasted baguette.
The pho was great, although it's been years since I've had pho, so I don't have much of a basis for comparison. The broth was incredibly fragrant (I assume I was smelling the star anise) and when the whole soup was assembled, I sucked it down until I couldn't physically take any more.
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