Price range: Low
Category: Solo, date, co-worker or social lunch
Time in: 12:05
Time out: 12:40
French-Vietnamese rice noodle soup – pho – has enjoyed rising popularity in the past few years. I have never seen it approached so playfully before!
At Phobulous, Start with Pho Play (appetizers) and then choose among Pho Real ($7.95), Phonomenon ($8.50) and Pho Out Fowl ($7.95).
I had the Mother Pho ($9.95) in order to try it all: steak, brisket, flank, tendon, beef balls and tripe battled for recognition in the huge bowl. While not cuts I was used to, there was no denying the luscious aroma.
I sipped lotus oolong tea ($2) while I waited for the hot broth to cook the meats. I scattered bean sprouts and shredded carrot into the bowl and dug in. I barely made it through two thirds before I surrendered. Despite my attitude of “it's only soup,” it was more filling than many heaping platters I have been served. The various beef flavours were quite enjoyable, but I preferred the sweeter broth of the hu tieu ga that I stole from my daughter.
Next time, I'll try one of the grilled dishes and won't miss their weasel-crap coffee ($5.75). You only live once: try everything twice!