I have had some great pho (pronounced “fuh”, for your information…) in Kansas City, MO at Sung Son (however, I have heard it’s even more delicious at Vietnam Cafe off 39th in KC, MO…) – but it doesn’t come close to Pho Bang. I will admit that I cheated in finding this gem. It’s touted as one of the best pho / Vietnamese restaurants in town by Yelp users and was featured on a “Best of” list somewhere.
So, not being a HUGE pho expert, I won’t be all snobby about it. So, here’s my technical assessment – it’s fucking fantastic. I know, I know…that’s a little hard to understand, not being Vietnamese and all, but just go and maybe you’ll understand.
I ordered the well done brisket and flank steak pho, but also at the table was the meatball pho, chicken pho, shrimp vermicelli, charbroiled pork vermicelli and spring rolls.
Where should I begin…okay, the broth. How…HOW…do they make it take on the flavor of whatever is in it so well? There was cilantro, green onions and noodles in the broth with the meat. They also bring out a plate with thai basil, jalapenos and other herbs on it. The thai basil and jalapenos added a whole new world to the broth. They were both incredibly fresh and the jalapenos were hot as hell. Maybe I should not have used the Sriracha as well? No, no…I should have. And goddammit do I love thai basil.
The brisket, steak, shrimp and charbroiled pork were all wonderful – but I think the brisket and pork stole the show. Despite being well done, the brisket was extremely flavorful and tender from being in the broth. The charbroiled pork was too good for words to describe, you just have to experience it for yourself. The noodles themselves were just perfect as well. I can’t really say the same for the vermicelli, though. I think it fell a little flat in comparison to everything else. I’m not a fan of spring rolls, so I won’t even offer my opinion. However, I did see some crispy fried egg rolls at another table and those will be mine on my next visit.
The appearance of the place is about as I expected from a strip mall restaurant. Nothing extravagant and kind of small. I’ve been there twice now – lunch time and 8:00 at night and each time was busy. During lunch, it may be so busy that you’ll be seated with other people at the table, which provides some good entertainment and feels like home. It’s in the “Little Saigon” section of Garland. There are Vietnamese storefronts abound, which adds a lot of character to the area. There isn’t a lot of English spoken and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the diverse (well, by diverse I mean completely Asian…which doesn’t make sense at all, I know) clientele go to town on all of that delicious and inexpensive food.
So, overall? Outstanding and will require more…research. Maybe we’ll be at the same table.
Food – Out of this world, easy on the wallet and addictive.
Drink – All you’ve got is non-alcoholic here…I need to ask if they’re BYOB next time.
Atmosphere – Simple, unpretentious and completely focused on the food.
Service – Fine…nothing really outstanding, but absolutely nothing wrong with it either.
Overall – Based on everything together…yet another MUST EAT in Dallas. GuhGetPho.
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