One Pho the Money at Pho Saigon

This past weekend I was sick as a dog. I had to leave work early on Friday to go home and curl into the fetal position, a pitiful display which was broken only by frequent bouts of hydration and moaning. Being sick is the worst, but with the powers of modern science and medicine on my side (Z-packs are a thing of wondrous beauty), I quickly rebounded Saturday afternoon.

Yet, it wasn't just the powerful antibiotics coursing through my system that healed me. It was the power of prayer. Ha, yeah right. It was pho.

In an attempt to curb the lethargy, sinus pressure and lack of sustenance that had been slowly gathering in my person for the previous 48 hours, my lady love and I saddled up and trotted over to Pho Saigon. I was craving pho. I needed it. I hadn't eaten dinner the night before and was just drained.

Pho is great. It's a wonderful amalgamation of ingredients, and all of them kick ass. There are the buoyant, solid ingredients providing textural wrinkles over a rich, layered backdrop of broth. It elicits a comforting, warming glow deep, deep down in your belly parts. Eating something that you know someone put a lot of time into is the definition of comfort food, to me.

To me, pho is the Southeast Asian version of Mom's chicken noodle soup, except it's made with a complex meat broth long-simmered with exotic spices. I won't pretend to know the intricacies of its preparation; I'll let you read the Wikipedia article for your own damn self.

Due to my head cold and subsequent congestion, I ladled in a healthy dose of chili oil and Sriracha. Cleaned me right out. My sinuses felt like they had just ingested the nasal equivalent of extra-strength Ducolax.

We also sampled the egg rolls. They are considerably lighter and more airy than the oft-times greasy Chinese counterparts. The outer wrapping was thin and crispy, with a pockmarked surface of popped air bubbles from a quick, flash frying. It had just the right kind of soft pork and shrimp filling to complement the wafer-like exterior texture.

Pho is a wonderful dish with great restorative properties. You can get full without being overly bloated, you can enjoy a well-prepared, hearty meal and the real nipple on the teat is that you won't break the bank. I got out of there for less than 20 bucks, all told, and that was with the two crunchy, tasty eggrolls we added on to our soups.

Not too bad, bro. Not too bad at all. Go get pho the next time you are feeling under the weather. It'll cure what ails you.

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Sam Brown