I ordered these tasty spring rolls with shrimp. I somehow thought that when they weren't fried and were in this translucent wrapper that they were called summer rolls. But I guess I am mistaken. Summer or spring I ate them in a flash. The peanut sauce that you get is way more complex than just watery peanut butter. First, it's dark brown and tastes like it's been lovingly cooking for hours.
The spring rolls are packed full of shrimp, noodles, basil and a little beef. Great flavor.
Here's a specialty of theirs. Coffee with condensed milk. The little pot on top is kind of like a french press. The condensed milk lurks at the bottom of the cup and you have to endeavor to make the 2 of them mix. When you do you are treated to a coffee that is sweet, but not sickeningly so, with a hint of a chocolatey flavor.
Here's the large Pho Tai Chin Nac. Pho soup with beef and well done brisket. I should have taken a photo to show just how LARGE it is. The first thing that comes to mind is that it could fit a litter of kittens inside it. That's right. That was the first thing. I guess it was also large enough to fit: an entire bag of chips, a risen bread loaf, a defrosting chicken, 4 batches of brownie batter, a really large person's head. Point is - it's huge! I had never had pho in the past and I am a fan! I loved the sliced brisket. It was clearly cooked to order because when mine arrived there was a tiny fold of brisket popping out of the broth that was pink when the rest was submerged and cooked. You instantly get the onion flavor with the broth, which I like. I also love the giant noodles in my soup. They seem to be 10 feet long!
I kept coming across this item when I ate it that I was confused by. I kept calling it a "squid arm" but I knew that wasn't what it was. It was a bit chewy so it had to be some sort of animal. I asked my server. It was tripe. Was this my first time eating tripe? No. I am also a fan of Campbell's Scotch Broth and Pepper Pot soups. Both are products of Canada, both contain tripe. Sneaky Canadians and Vietnamese (and almost every other country than the US) using tripe for cheap and easy protein and flavor. What does tripe taste like? Nothing. It's a chewy bit of protein that you boil to get it's delicious salty flavor out of and then it's done. Do I like it? Not necessarily. I ate around it because of the texture. They have Pho without tripe in it if you have an extreme aversion. I ate what I thought was half, but got nowhere close to finishing it. I got a nice little Styrofoam bucket to take it home in.
Never heard of Scotch Broth and Pepper Pot either? Someone has.
Here's the bowl of accoutrement that you get with the pho. There's bean sprout, lime, jalapeno, basil leaves. I relied heavily on the bean sprout and basil with lime.
Here's a small Pho Bo Vien. Pho with sliced steak and meatballs. This was still pretty big. This could probably hold only 1 kitten. This is a non-tripe choice. The little meatballs in it are just great! Pat was sick so I made her go steam her head in a bowl of pho. I think she's glad she went.
I ask you - where in northern Kentucky can you get Vietnamese food? Exactly. Go thrown them some of your money. Try a new food, you might like it! There's something for everyone!
Here's a great little piece of prose on the confounding nature of the Pho.
Submitted by Emily Garber
It recently came to my attention that the Vietnamese noodle-and-broth dish spelled "pho" is not pronounced "foe," as I had always assumed, but "fuh." This was a heartbreaking revelation, because it shattered my dreams of opening hit restaurants called Pho Fo' Sho' (free Cristal with every bowl!) and Faux Pho (Pho Sho's vegan spin-off).
However, my discovery did give me the courage to order pho for the first time, from a food cart near my office. I walked up to the booth proudly, with confidence. "I'll have the...number four," I said, totally chickening out. But soon my prize arrived, steaming hot and tucked securely into a plastic bag.
I spirited the pho back to my desk and unpacked it. An abundance of vegetables greeted my eyes, and a delicious aroma wafted to my nose. I took a spoonful of broth and immediately burned all my taste buds off for the next three days. But it was delicious. I kept spooning. Best of all was the accompanying plastic bag containing a variety of kick-it-up-a-notch bounty: hot sauce, plum sauce, a lime segment, a bristling stalk of Thai basil, and enough bean sprouts to keep an Asian family full of phytochemicals for a month.
I dumped everything in and began eating in earnest. Bite after bite of chewy tofu, plump mushroom, and crisp celery vanished into my mouth. Bliss.
Suddenly, halfway through, I looked down. No vegetables were in sight. Instead, I was faced with an enormous mass of flavorless, soggy noodles. I began to regret squandering my plastic bag of treasures so soon. And why didn't I mix any of the mushrooms or celery down to the bottom? My salad days, as it were, were over. Anyway, I ate it.
All I can say is: pho that.