The Pho Binh family of restaurants offers what's often called the best pho in Houston, but they can also be a bit of a drive. The original Pho Binh sits in a trailer down in far south Houston, while its newer sister restaurant -- Pho Binh by Night -- is in the western reaches of Chinatown (which itself is already situated in far west Houston as it is).
That could be one reason the recent Pho Binh by Night pop-up dinner this past Sunday evening at Blacksmith was so popular.
The coffee shop at Westheimer and Waugh closes every day at 5 p.m., and Pho Binh by Night started serving at 5:01 p.m. for the inaugural "blacksmith by night" event. Each month will see a different line-up of chefs, but this past Sunday found a long queue of people waiting to the door for an a la carte pho menu from Pho Binh chefs David and Kevin Pham.
"It was amazing," said Blacksmith owner David Buehrer of the event, which he coordinated with the Phams to bring some of his favorite pho to Montrose. Buehrer joked of the huge crowd: "I felt like maybe I should just serve pho instead of coffee."
Buehrer -- who grew up down the street from the original Pho Binh in south Houston -- is a dyed in the wool pho-natic, and the person responsible for indoctrinating many a devotee into the noodle soup that borders on religion for some Houstonians.
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The Phams brought a menu of Pho Binh favorites, including pho ga kho (dry chicken pho, served with a side of broth) and pho dac biet (a special combination soup of various beef bits), while the baristas at Blacksmith made cafe sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee made with espresso and sweetened condensed milk) and jasmine milk tea to drink.
The pop-up dinner series will be recurring on the last Sunday of each month at 5:01 p.m. on the dot. No word on next month's set of chefs, but expect it to be just as well-attended -- so get there early.