I made it to Pho Binh last week to follow-up on a lead for duck noodle soup that I got a few months back.
A nice rich and fairly dark meaty broth that had a bit of spice and was not oily at all. The duck leg was quite good- braised unitil chopstick tender (for my skill level that is about one hour past fork tender :)). It also had what looked like a bit of char at the edges making me wonder if they re-heat it in an oven or if I got a piece that floated above the cooking stock. I would have liked a few more pieces of greens in the soup as they cut the richness a bit but the portion was fairly similar to other places. The thin egg noodles were fairly standard for these types of soups.
I think I have a slight preference for the version served at Thai Time (8th and Clement) in SF. Their version is significantly more spiced which works for me perfectly as a contrast to the rich duck meat and slippery rice noodles. This is somewhat surprising as I have a strong preference for egg noodles over rice noodles. I could see some would judge the broth to be overspiced (you got to like your star anise) but for those that like a murkier broth you should give this version a try. The duck leg was a bit more tender at Pho Binh though- This place was packed and with many customers ordering the duck soup they have to keep their duck legs ready to go unlike Thai Time where I have never eaten lunch with anyone else in the place. Still, Pho Binh was a good tip and I am sure it would be in my rotation if I worked nearby.
Next up is Vien Huong in Oakland...
1274 Persian Drive