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Restaurants & Bars 8

Pho Binh in Sunnyvale

Shep | Dec 15, 200506:27 PM

Stopped by Pho Binh because I was in the neighborhood. The room is pretty utilitarian, just tables and chairs and lots of glass that got the most out of the winter sunlight. The menu is also pretty utilitarian, featuring your noodle soups, and that's it. I ordered pho with rare beef and well-done brisket.

The soup came richly laced with cilantro and scallions. The broth was fairly light, with a slight citrus tone which led me to forego the lime that I usually add. A few drops of fish sauce were all I needed, although I noticed fellow diners adding serious amounts of black pepper. The rare beef was in fact raw, and cooked nicely in the heat of the broth, still retaining that raw beef flavor that a lot of places lose by overcooking. The brisket was better as an accent for a gob of noodles than by itself, don't know exactly why, maybe a little too lean to have much flavor. Noodles were fine, very slurpable, just a tiny bit past al dente, still plenty of chew left in them, though. Overall, not destination pho, but worth a stop any time I'm close.

Random notes: Got in at 10:30 AM; place was full by the time I left, no other gringos. With its spare, purposeful atmosphere, Pho Binh reminded me more of breakfast pho stands in rural Vietnam than any other place I've eaten at.

Pho Binh
1274 Persian Drive
Off Lawrence Expressway just south of 237

PS--This place is apparently well liked for the duck noodle soup. See link below.

Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

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