When a reader asked me to recommend an excellent pho shop close to downtown where he could get a quick lunch, I sent him to the Pho Saigon location at 2808 Milam. And I told him to remember to put a napkin over his tie. The original Midtown location was opened by Houston's P.B. Tran in 1998. Pho Saigon now has nine locations around the city, and it is one of my favorite noodle chains.
A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by the Pho Saigon location at 11360 Bellaire, near Hong Kong City Mall, and picked up some pho for my sick wife. It's a great to-go order. The soup is sealed in a big plastic container, and you get lots of noodles and herbs, all for six bucks and change. While I waited for the soup, I chatted with some fellow patrons who thought Pho Saigon was one of the best pho joints in town.
I know, I know, you think Pho Binh or some other pho shop has Houston's ultimate bowl of noodles. The way we argue about these things, you'd think there were only a couple of noodle houses worth visiting in the whole city. The truth is to the contrary. Clear stock, murky stock, fatty stock, stock that smells like anise--they all have their fans. I say, open your mind to the wide range of pho variations and enjoy your noodles.