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Pot au Pho

This funky trailer in South Houston is worth the drive for Vietnamese breakfast.

The second time I ate breakfast at Pho Binh was on a frigid Thursday. I asked for No. 5 with steak, brisket and tripe (tai nam sach). But after digging around in my bowl, I couldn't find the tripe. I am guessing the waitress thought I'd made a mistake and didn't really want tripe. She evidently changed my order for me. The soup was as delicious as before.

Extra meat, noodles and meatballs are available for only a dollar at the original Pho Binh. (It's two dollars at the other two locations.) I ordered some extra meatballs, which came on the side. The meat balls, which were cut into quarters, were boring and rubbery.

There were three guys speaking Vietnamese at the table beside me. One was dressed in a ski parka with shorts and flip-flops. Another also wore sandals. I liked their style. The third guy mixed up a sauce of half hoisin and half Sriracha sauce in a saucer. He picked up his meatball pieces with his chopsticks and dipped them into this sauce.

The Pho Binh experience is worth the drive.
Troy Fields
The Pho Binh experience is worth the drive.

Location Info

Map

Pho Binh

10827 Bellaire Blvd., 116
Houston, TX 77072

Category: Restaurant > Vietnamese

Region: Outer Loop - SW

Pho Binh

10928 Beamer Road
Houston, TX 77089

Category: Restaurant > Vietnamese

Region: Outer Loop - SE

Details

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

Large pho: $5.95

Medium pho: $4.95

Extra meat or noodles: $1

Hot tea: $1.20

10928 Beamer Rd., 281-484-3963.

I found the hoisin and hot sauce on my table and followed suit. The dipping sauce vastly improved the flavor of the otherwise mundane meatballs. I also noticed that the same guy was drinking both hot tea and iced Vietnamese coffee with his breakfast soup.

"It brings out the flavor of the pho," he said of his twin breakfast beverages. I remarked that the other location of Pho Binh on Beechnut at Wilcrest was closer to my house and that I usually ate over there. All three men agreed that it was worth the drive from the other side of town to eat at the original Pho Binh in the trailer beside the overgrown bayou.

Even if the pho tasted exactly the same, the colorful experience of eating an early-morning breakfast at Houston's favorite pho trailer is worth the extra effort. Be sure and ask for some extra fat. And remember to mix up some hoisin hot sauce for your meatballs.

"This place is an eyesore, but they have the best pho in town," the guy with the meatball sauce told me.

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