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San Francisco Bay Area Pho

Pho at Swensen's in Pleasanton

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Pho at Swensen's in Pleasanton

Shep | Feb 22, 2005 03:24 PM

For me to note that the place was full of Asian-looking people happily slurping noodles, would be about as relevant as to note that Denny's is full of American-looking people slurping, well, Salisbury Steak. BUT, it is. They are. So did I.

The broth was clean and clear, in my No. 5 Pho Tai Chin, with rare beef and fatty brisket, extra meat balls. It smelled so fragrant that I drank about half of it before I added anything from the plate of usual condiments, basil, pepper, lime and sprouts. The noodles had a nice texture, still a bit chewy. They seemed a little shorter than average, which made it easier to load a spoonful for anointing with plum sauce or chili. The meat was perhaps not quite as plentiful as other places I've been, but it did the job; the meatballs in particular were fatty-tasty. I cleaned the bowl.

This might not be first-tier stuff in Oakland or Dong Ha City. But in the vast wasteland of the Tri-Valley, it's a chow destination.

Swensen's
1991-A Santa Rita Rd, xx Valley Dr
Pleasanton
West side of the street, north of Valley, in Mission Plaza

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