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Pho Dac Biet from Pho 54

Price: $5.49
Rating: ***** / *****

You. Yes, you specifically reading this right now. Why haven't you tried pho yet? You say you have? Awesome. Now, the rest of you...why not? Pho is ambrosia and nectar all in one. The soup that really does eat like a meal, unlike the processed bullshit that is Chunky Soup. And really, is it wise to eat a hot bowl of soup after a long session of hitting the weights at the gym? My flactoids beg to differ.

Anyways, this weekend has been pretty uneventful. After an embarrassingly strenuous hike up a hill for a field trip in my geology class, I could find no better thing to do than unwind with my newly bought copy of Pokemon Diamond. If you think that it's odd that a college student still plays Pokemon games, please seek out the nearest hole available and crawl in it and die. So I played that for a few hours, then found my mind adequately numbed. I was in the mood for some comfort food, so I thought I'd go out and eat some pho.

This really isn't a fair review. I've never had a bowl of pho that wasn't at least edible. I even eat the instant pho that is basically rice noodles and mystery powder that tastes like plastic and feels like plastic. I probably shouldn't be surprised the first ingredient listed is plastic. Still, I throw in some beef and basil and it's a viable meal. This isn't a review of fake pho, however, this is the real deal. Every Vietnamese person with half a soul is going to give pho 5 stars, so I guess I'll just take this time to talk about what makes pho so great.

For the uninitiated, pho is the national dish of Vietnam. It is how we kept the French from taking over during the years they colonized. Don't ask me how, but pho did the trick. Pho is also the reason we are so awesome at school, with relatively few exceptions. So what is it? It is rice noodles with various cuts of meat in a beef broth that rids your soul of the sins you've accumulated during those drunken stupors. The broth consists of beef bones, star anise, onion, and other good stuff that makes your soup yummy.

Look at it in all of its glory. This is called Pho Dac Biet, which is with all the fixins'. Tripe, brisket, rare beef slices cooked by the soup, and tendon. You can have it with just beef slices, or chicken if you're a sucker, but I prefer all the pieces of the cow. There are many different textures in the bowl. The tendon basically melts in your mouth as the gelatin softens after many hours of cooking. The tripe is firm and chewy, though not so chewy that you'll be chomping on the pieces for long. And the beef should be thinly sliced and tender, suitable for dipping into hoison sauce or Sriracha if you're so inclined.

Pho is traditionally served with a plate of basil, bean sprouts, and lime. I like to throw in a good amount of basil and lime, cutting down on the saltiness and bit and making the soup delicious and drinkable. Eating goes as follows: taking a piece of meat, and then following it up with a spoonful of rice noodles and soup. Repeat until you're finished. Then unbutton the top of your pants and hope nobody notices how out of shape you are.

Anyways, go out there and give it a try to see if you like it. I've had a few friends try it and love it, but one that didn't care for it. I couldn't let her live after that. If you are in the Orange County area, you can easily find a pho shop in your neighborhood, so there's really no excuse for not seeking it out.

Just found your blog, seriously, thanks for taking care of that pesky stretch of time between 130 and 3p on a Monday. May you never reap the consequences of a diet so high in sodium and pasteurized processed cheese food.

My ex girlfriend wanted to eat this stuff ALL the time. And she wasn't even veitnamese! It was pretty good but I haven't had it in a while.

I've never heard of this, and I'm pretty sure I'd butcher it when trying to say it. Sounds good though, can always go for a good bowl of soup.

Clare - thanks for the compliment and well wishes! Contrary to my reviews, I actually try to eat fairly reasonably in my daily life. But I find the fattening and salty products are the most fun to write about.

Eric - And you let her get away?!

Tiffany - There are a lot of different types, just find one that sounds good and say the number.

Mr spakero, mr spakero


i didn't read your blog(frankly i have better shit to do), however i did post a comment.
thank you Ass N.

Thanks for the support, Frank. Perhaps if you stop letting your caterpillar eyebrows control your brain, you will be able to read sometime. Until then, I will enjoy going "Arr In" and beating you at poker.

That looks really good! Makes me want to visit the Vietnamese part of my family so they can feed me... but it's making me look sadly at the slightly burnt grilled cheese I'm having for dinner.

~ Diana

I have tried pho a couple of times now and I really cannot make myself like it. The meat is always so trashy and the flavor is always generic. I'll stick with ramen, not the instant 10 cent stuff but the real big bowls from restaurants.

Diana: I used to have a grilled cheese maker, it was quite possibly the most useless thing my family ever owned.

LordJezo: Get the hell away from my site, please!



Actually, I really like Ramen too. Especially the bowls with chicken, shrimp, liver, pork, meatballs, and wontons. Served with some fried bread, yum yum yum.

yuumm.. soooo gooood.

never settles well though. but i eat it anyways. sooo worth it.


Pill, will you ever learn that Sprite isn't Pepto Bismol? I need to start bringing bottles next time we have Pho so I won't have to listen to the groaning in the car.

yumm! pho is my favorite thing to eat if im going to eat out,infact i actually love vietnamese food much better than a greasy,artery-clogging burger and fries any day!!..
i like to put LOTS of basil and lime in my pho,but i gotta go easy on the siracha (sp?) because i can be a wimp LOL..

I love pho and love anyone who loves it! YUMMY!

Yummy....sounds delicious...mouthwatering dish.

pho is pho-king fantastic!

<3 Being Vietnamese and all, this stuff is the shit. Cheap around here, in the pacific northwest. Amazing.

Wow this looks absolutely good and probably taste delicious. I can’t wait to try this at home.

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