Kirk needs a break and Cathy is reeeallly busy, so today ed (from yuma) is posting about some place not in Yuma or San Diego.
Knowing that we were going to be in the Phoenix area around Presidents' Day, Tina and I thought about some places to eat. Both of us, as it turns out, were hungry for Vietnamese. A little research on Chowhound turned up a list of Vietnamese restaurants.
The one closest to where we were going to be was Pho 43 Express on 43rd Ave in the Maryville district of Glendale. We figured we'd give it a try.
The large number of family members (no school on Presidents' Day) let us know that this was a family restaurant, not a pho factory like some of the assembly line SD pho restaurants. The folks were friendly.
Looking over the menu, we realized that this was primarily a noodle House, with bun, pho, hu, and mi dishes predominating. That made ordering easy. A large combination pho and bun bo hue.
Although a few leaves of basil were blackened at the edges, we had plenty.
I thought it was a pretty decent bowl of soup. The nearly spaghetti size noodles were nicely cooked. They still had some pull and were not all clumped together. There was enough chili spice and a slight taste of the sea underneath the meat flavors in the stock. Kirk, of course, would have deemed it insufficiently funky and reached for the shrimp paste. But he wouldn't have found any on the table:
The beef in the soup was good (though not memorable), but the meaty highlight of the dish where the pieces of pork leg. Look at this:
And here's another:
Loved all the tender pork meat and the abundant tendon.
Again the noodles were extremely well prepared. Separate and not overcooked. The stock rich, slightly sweet, with a nice anise flavor. The jalapeno slices and basil contributed nicely.
I was impressed by the slices of rare steak. Normally that is my least favorite, and to my palate, the least flavorful pho meat. Here, it was really good and steaky. Amazing.
To be honest, I was pretty impressed with this little restaurant. Maybe we just got lucky, but the pho was better than most that I've had in San Diego. And I would order the bun bo hue again as well.
I have not included prices because I'm sure that the carry out menu that I carried out is out of date. That large bowlof dac biet pho must cost more than five dollars, and the bun bo hue has got to be more than $4.90. However, I'm sure they are still incredible values.
Pho 43 Express, 2844 43rd Ave, Phoenix AZ 85009, (602) 269-3383. Open 8 am - 8 or 9 pm every day but Tuesday.