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Back to Pho Vietnam, Santa Rosa

Melanie Wong | Sep 22, 2001 03:30 AM

All the talk on the board about Vietnamese food drove me back to a favorite, Pho Vietnam. Yet, I squelched the urge to have the wonderful beef noodle soup here. Instead I went with the owner’s recommendation from my last visit (link below) and ordered #42, Co’m Su’ó’n Bì Trú’ng Op La or Barbecue pork ribs with clear pork skin, egg, shredded pork and pork skin over rice. It also came with a rice bowl full of the intense broth topped with chopped scallions and cilantro. At $6.50,this is the most expensive item on the menu.

While I’ve been here many, many times, this is the first time I’ve had any barbecue pork here. Boy, have I been missing out! Rather than pork ribs, this was actually two thin blade-cut chops. Expertly grilled with good char marks, juicy inside with marinated flavor through and through, and another glaze brushed on the outside for another layer of intensity. The clear pork skin shreds were the texture of firm jelly verging on crunchy. These were dusted with the dried pork skin powder and bits of lean pork. The plate was garnished with very finely shredded iceberg lettuce, cucumber ovals and a slice of tomato. On top of it all was a fried egg over easy, the runny yolk added another dimension to the mix. The dipping sauce here hit a happy medium of sweet, sour, not too fishy and not too spicy. I liked mixing a couple elements at a time with different proportions to get a contrast in tastes.

My only criticism is that the pork chops were hard to eat with no knives available. One was slashed in several spots after grilling to help pull it apart but the other was not. I’m adept at using a spoon in the right hand to cut and eat, but this took a little too much effort and elbow grease.

I had an iced glass of coconut juice ($1.95). This was the clear, mildly sweet juice plus thick shards of tender nonfibrous coconut meat.

Pho’’ Viêtnam
Beef Noodle Soup Restaurant
711 Stony Point Road
Santa Rosa
707-571-SOUP

[BROKEN LINK REMOVED]

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