Sunday, September 23, 2007

Noodle shops rule

Richmond is lucky to have several good Vietnamese restaurants. The most popular and best known of the bunch is Mekong. About two blocks away are a collection of little noodle shops--the places where most people are more likely to be speaking Vietnamese than English. The current favorite is Pho So.

Pho So is a classic noodle shop with plastic chopsticks and spoons on the table. The menu offers various rice and noodle options, but by far what you see the most of around the room are people tucking into one of the 17 pho options.

I've been timid about working my way up the list from the basic Pho ga, but I've lately been working up to the Pho Tai. Friday, I moved a couple steps higher to the Pho Tai Chin (meat warning from my veg friends), which includes rare round steak and well-done brisket. Add in the basil, the bean sprouts, the pepper, the hoi sin, the chili, and of course the lime, and all the flavors combine to create a near-perfect comfort food.

I even took a picture of it. Eventually I'll figure out how to send pictures from my phone.